2007-10-11 / News

Buying sports tickets online

We've all been there: the big game is coming up and you just have to have a ticket, but don't want to get burned by an online scammer.

"Sports fans are often blinded by their devotion to their team and run the risk of putting their trust in a seller that doesn't deserve it," says Steve Cox, a spokesperson for the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

Many ticket brokerage firms offer highly regulated Web sites, providing buyer protections that include money-back guarantees on the legitimacy of tickets. It is on the hundreds of online auctions, classifieds, and bulletin boards that you need to be skeptical.

Look for the BBBOnLine seal, indicating a company has a good customer reputation and a secure Web site for payments.

When buying from an individual through an online exchange don't be lured away from the Web site by the seller. You may no longer be guaranteed for lost money.

If you buy tickets through online auctions, choose sellers with long, continuous, histories of satisfied customers. Scammers can hijack old accounts, so make sure they've recently bought or sold other items.

Never pay with a cashier's check or wire money to the seller; you'll have no way to recoup your money if the tickets never arrive. Pay with a credit card or through PayPal.

Scrutinize pictures of tickets for any inaccuracies or alterations, and cross-check seat assignments on the venue's Web site before purchasing.

Return to top