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BBB: Scammers may target digital ticket marketplace during 2022 CWS

Vanderbilt players warm up before taking the field against North Carolina State in the bottom...
Vanderbilt players warm up before taking the field against North Carolina State in the bottom of the ninth inning during a baseball game in the College World Series, Friday, June 25, 2021, at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb. (AP Photo/Rebecca S. Gratz)(Rebecca S. Gratz | AP)
Published: Jun. 13, 2022 at 12:26 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (Press Release) - An exclusively digital ticket experience awaits fans as the 2022 College World Series begins this week.

While the cashless ticket option has been available for years, the Metropolitan Entertainment & Convention Authority made it the only option in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic — and all tickets will continue to be mobile in 2022.

“The National Association of Ticket Brokers (NATB) are working to raise awareness and educate fans about the smartest ways to buy tickets on secondary resale markets,” said BBB Regional CEO Jim Hegarty. “Taking a few extra minutes to check the reseller out with the BBB and NATB to confirm the resale company is reputable is highly recommended.”

Many stadiums and venues have gone to only accepting only digital tickets, making the possibilities for scams more likely. Scammers may produce counterfeit tickets or not even send tickets to buyers in the first place. It’s not always clear how to tell if a ticket is fake, but it’s easy to see that these types of scams are increasing. Last year, the BBB received over 140 reports on BBB Scam Tracker about ticket scams related to sporting events, concerts, theatre, and more.

Helpful tips to avoid ticket scammers:

  • Purchase from the venue whenever possible. Many official ticket sales agents now offer secondary sales options, as well. The easiest way to avoid scammers is to purchase a ticket directly from the event’s official website.
  • Consider your source. Know the difference between a professional ticket broker (a legitimate and accredited reseller), a ticket scalper (an unregulated and unlicensed ticket seller), and a scammer selling scam tickets.
  • Check out the seller/broker. Look them up on BBB.org to learn what other customers have experienced. Check to see if they are a member of the National Association of Ticket Brokers. NATB members offer a 200% purchase guarantee on tickets. Look up the seller on VerifiedTicketSource.com to confirm you are buying from an NATB-member resale company.
  • Buy only from trusted vendors. Buy online only from vendors you know and trust. Look for the lock symbol in the web address to indicate a secure purchasing system. Don’t click through from emails or online ads; a common ticket scam trick is to create a web address that is similar to a well-known company.
  • Know the refund policy. You should only purchase tickets from a ticket reseller that provides clear details about the terms of the transaction. Sellers should disclose to the purchaser, 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 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 get your money back.
  • Be wary of advertisements. When you search the web for online tickets, advertisements for cheap tickets will often appear. Use good judgment; some of these ads are going to be ticket scams, especially if the prices are low.
  • Download your ticket ahead of time. Fans should download their ticket to a digital wallet before attending the event. With large crowds outside the stadium, cell phone service may be spotty, which may make it harder to access your ticket.

If you’ve been the victim of a similar scam, report it to BBB Scam Tracker. Your first-hand experience can help others recognize scammers’ tactics before it’s too late!

For any other questions or concerns you may have regarding ticket scams, contact your BBB at 800-649-6814 or visit bbb.org.

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