Chicago Bulls

Score Or Scam? How To Sense Fraud Before It Happens

Unscrupulous people are always looking for new and innovative ways to scam innocent persons of their money. It takes a smart person to successfully carry out some of these scams that are reported. Scammers can actually be described as sophisticated thieves. They keep up to date with current events in an effort to find loopholes and run their scams by preying on unsuspecting persons, robbing them of their hard earned cash.

Sporting events, especially football, baseball, and basketball, usually attract very large crowds, which unfortunately, include many undesirables.  While planning committees are busy preparing tickets and putting other things in place in order for the events to be successful, scammers are busy finding ways to print fake tickets and make big profits for themselves. Games which involve popular teams such as the Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, or Yankees usually have their tickets sold out days or even weeks before the actual games take place. Many people find ways of benefitting from these games. One of the common ways is to purchase large numbers of these tickets so that when the ticket offices have sold out, they can advertise their tickets on the internet at higher prices and make handsome profits. The persons who we must really fear, though, are those who spend no money buying the tickets but instead check the internet for pictures of these tickets and attempt to duplicate them. They also advertise on the internet and make large sums of money from desperate fans. These victims, after paying more than the original cost of the ticket, end up being turned away from the stadiums. The fans that purchase these tickets online by giving their credit card information also expose themselves to identity theft.

In November 2008, Dave Welsh, assistant athletic director for the ticket operations at the Texas Tech football game, was as surprised as the 500 fans that were scammed into buying fake tickets. The tickets looked very much like the season-tickets, but were discovered to be counterfeit when they attempted to get into the game. The tickets had bar codes that did not match and represented seats that were already sold out. Welsh warned fans who do not purchase tickets from ticket offices of the huge risks they are taking. Police in Nashville, Tennessee discovered a scam at their football game where scammers were not selling fake game tickets but instead fake parking tickets.

How do you sense fraud before it happens? The Arizona Better Business Bureau offers tips to sporting fans that purchase tickets online. These tips include purchasing tickets only at authorized venues; verifying merchants’ reputations by checking for the bureau’s online seal; making sure the vendor has a long history of satisfied customers; and paying with credit or paypal as they offer some protection and possible reimbursement for fraud. These tips should prevent fans from falling for ticket scams and be able to get into the game of their choosing, and root while their team scores!

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