GREEN BAY, Wisc. (WFRV) Badger fans beware! Scams and counterfeit tickets are out there.
If you're one of the faithful heading out to the Rose Bowl, the Better Business Bureau is urging you to use caution when buying tickets and packages, especially online.
The BBB says sports fans get scammed most often when they buy tickets from individuals outside the stadium, on the street or through online auctions, classified ads and bulletin boards.
"Sports fans can get burned by purchasing counterfeit tickets or paying in advance for tickets that never arrive," said Randall Hoth from Wisconsin's BBB. "Hotel scams may involve invalid reservations or rooms advertised as close to the stadium that either don't exist or are nowhere near the stadium."
The BBB offers these tips:
Before buying from an online ticket broker, look for the BBB logo on the website and click on it to make sure it's real. The BBB seal will take you directly to the BBB review on the company, where you can read about the company's record for responding to complaints. Make sure the website has a secure payment processing system, usually denoted by "https://" at the start of its website address or URL or a small closed lock icon at the bottom of the screen.
if you're purchasing from an online auction site like eBay, never leave the website to finish the transaction. You will lose protection a website like eBay provides.
Try to buy from someone who is local and has a good history of satisfying customers. Check other consumers' feedback before purchasing tickets from the seller.
If you're buying tickets through an online classified ad site, never pay the seller by wire transfer. You will have no way to get your money back if the tickets do not arrive or are counterfeit. Use either a credit card or Paypal so that charges can be disputed if there is a problem with the tickets.
As the seller to email you a picture of the tickets, including a receipt or other proof that the tickets are not counterfeit. Scrutinize the picture carefully, looking for any alterations or inaccuracies, and cross-check the seat assignment with the map on the venue's website before you buy.
Get the seller's real name and contact information. When meeting the seller, ask for some identification, and write it down in case you need it later.
Never go alone to pick up tickets that you purchased from someone online. Always meet in a public place. The "seller" knows when and where you're going to be, and that you're carrying a lot of cash. He/she may be setting you up to get robbed.
If purchasing a package, ask for the name, address and phone number of the hotel where the room is located, and call the hotel to verify that the room actually exists.
Be wary of ads that pile on incentives to make the package look better.
Be careful buying tickets from someone on the street. When you get to the gate and find out your tickets aren't real, the seller will be long gone.