Stanley Cup fever is taking over Vancouver as the Canucks head back to the playoffs, however, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) advises fans to be on the lookout for scams when searching for those elusive playoff tickets.
“As the Canucks progress in the playoffs the excitement builds for fans to be a part the special moment,” says BBB serving Mainland BC President and CEO Lynda Pasacreta. “Scammers look at this as an ideal time to dupe fans into counterfeit tickets or paying in advance for tickets that never arrive.”
Look for reputable ticket firms that provide buyer protection, including money back guarantees on the legitimacy of tickets. Some brokers take possession of tickets and verify them in-house before listing the tickets for resale; others require that sellers provide credit-card numbers as a protection to buyers. If the seller’s tickets are fake, the seller’s credit card gets charged for the cost of replacement tickets.
Whether you’re buying from a ticket broker or a private seller, BBB offers this advice for ticket shopping this playoff season:
Check with BBB first. Find out the ticket broker’s credibility and reputation, such as time in the business and how they respond to complaints.
Look for an address. Some brokers advertising online through Craigslist and other classified sites may not be legitimate. Check to see if they have a storefront address where you can follow up with them should anything go wrong with your purchase.
Read the fine print. Read through the terms and conditions and be sure to verify the ticket delivery dates. Find out what guarantees are offered with the purchase.
Never pay the seller by cash, cashier’s check or wire transfer. You will have no way to get your money back if the tickets do not arrive or are counterfeit. Pay with a credit card or through PayPal, both of which offer some protection to the buyer.
Buy tickets from authorized sources. Find out from the event organizer who authorized dealers are and when tickets are being released. For instance, the Vancouver Canucks have a Twitter feed announcing the release of new tickets and how to purchase them.
Check the history. If you buy tickets through eBay, choose a seller with a long history of satisfied customers. Scammers can hijack old accounts, so make sure the seller has recently sold other tickets. You should also click on the item number to view what was sold. It should send up a red flag if the seller has sold 500 items and has never sold tickets before.
Make sure they’re real. If you're buying from a private party, verify that the tickets are authentic. Ask to see a receipt or paperwork showing where the tickets came from.