LOUISVILLE, KY.(WHAS 11)--‘Tis the season for college basketball and “bracketology” but unfortunately it's also the season of scams. Representatives from the Better Business Bureau say they see a lot of people tricked into buying fake tickets come tourney time and offer tips to help fans avoid being scammed.
The first tip is to check out the ticket seller or broker. You can look up the source on bbb.org to see what others have experienced and check to see if the source is a member of the National Association of Ticket Brokers (NATB). NATB members offer a 200 percent guarantee on tickets that don't arrive in time for a game.
Next the BBB says know the difference between a ticket broker and a scalper. A broker is an accredited seller while a scalper is an unregulated and unlicensed ticket seller. You can always play it safe and purchase a ticket from the official venue or sales agent.
Mindy Eaton, the Director of Communications and Marketing for the BBB says one way to detect a scam is the requested payment method.
“If they're asking you to wire money, use iTunes gift cards or Amazon gift cards or paying with a pre-paid debit card it's generally a red flag that it's just a scam,” said Eaton.
Eaton says it's always best to pay with a credit card where you have buyer protection.
She also warns fans of using Craigslist. While it is a reputable website, it does not offer guarantees that you're buying from someone reputable.
Eaton says another common scam is fake, lookalike websites that may be easily mistaken for an official sites. For example, there may be a tickets.com spelled with a “z” instead of an “s.” She says again, run the website through bbb.org before buying.
Finally, the BBB says just use common sense, If something seems fishy, there's a good chance it is, so follow your instinct and verify your source. And the same warnings also apply to purchasing hotel rooms for the tournament.