March Madness is officially underway, and the Better Business Bureau® serving Central & Eastern Kentucky is reminding basketball fans to steer clear of scams when searching for tickets to see their favorite teams compete in the NCAA Men’s Tournament.
“Tickets become more expensive and scarce as the season goes on,” said BBB Director of Communications Heather Clary. “Various websites already show a lot of tickets on the secondary market for sale to the games in Indianapolis for the University of Kentucky’s first round play, so BBB reminds fans to use good judgement to avoid fraud.”
BBB and the National Association of Ticket Brokers (NATB) offer these tips:
- The NCAA advises fans to buy from their website, or host schools ticket offices. The NCAA Ticket Exchange is the only 100% guaranteed, NCAA-approved secondary ticket marketplace that allows fans to buy and sell NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship tickets with other fans. Ticket holders who are unable to attend a game or find their team eliminated have a place to safely sell their tickets, and buyers can be assured that the tickets are authentic and guaranteed. Log on to www.ncaa.com/tickets
- Check out third-party sellers/brokers. Look them up on bbb.org or call BBB serving Central & Eastern Kentucky at (859) 259-1008 or 1-800-866-6668 for the company’s BBB Profile. Check to see if they are a member of the National Association of Ticket Brokers at VerifiedTicketSource.com. NATB members offer a 200% purchase guarantee on tickets.
- Buy only from trusted vendors. Look for the padlock symbol in the web address to indicate a secure purchasing system. Don’t click through from emails or online ads; a common scam trick is to create a web address that is similar to a well-known company.
- Know the refund policy. Only purchase tickets from a ticket reseller that provides clear details about the terms of the transaction. Sellers should disclose, prior to purchase, the location of the seats represented by the tickets, either orally or by reference to a seating chart; and, if the tickets are not available for immediate access to the purchaser, disclose when the tickets will ship or be available for pick up.
- Use payment methods that come with protection. Always use a credit card so you have some possible recourse if the tickets are not as promised. Debit cards, wire transfer or cash transactions are risky; if the tickets are fraudulent, you won’t be able to recover your money.
- Be wary of ticket offers at extreme discount prices – these are usually too good to be true. Buy at your own risk if you choose to use sites like Craig’s List that offer no guarantees or seller identification. NEVER wire funds to strangers. Try to meet in person if possible.
Find these tips at www.bbb.org/tickets.
Contact the Better Business Bureau serving Central & Eastern Kentucky to check out companies, charities, or to report problems and scams by calling the Lexington office at (859) 259-1008 or toll-free 1-800-866-6668. Services are also available by logging on to www.bbb.org/lexington.
Photo courtesy: UK Athletics