Beware of scammers targeting March Madness fans

Beware of scammers targeting March Madness fans

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - March Madness kicked off this week, and many college basketball fans are hoping to cheer on their favorite teams from the sidelines. There’s nothing better than watching your favorite team live, but make sure you put a method to all the madness. Just like the athletes, you’ll also need to be on your A-game and watch out for people selling fake tickets.

Any time there is a major event, some people are willing to spend top dollar and travel far. Communications director for the Better Business Bureau of Coastal Carolina, Renee Wikstrom, says that’s also the perfect opportunity for scammers to take advantage of fans. She noted that nearly 400 people reported ticket scams last year.

The BBB says you have to play it smart before purchasing tickets. Make sure you research the seller on the BBB website and check to see if they’re a part of the National Association of Ticket Brokers. It’s always best to get your ticket directly from the venue. However, many times with big events, tickets sell out immediately so you’re forced to resort to third-party sites. If you are on those third-party sites, make sure you look up the company on BBB and check to see if they are part of the National Association of Ticket Brokers.

Be cautious of extremely discounted ticket prices because if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Always check you’re on a secure URL Link with “https://” and avoid pop-ups when making brackets, as they may be looking to steal your personal information.

It’s not just tickets to watch out for. You should also be on the lookout for fake apparel.

“You can always buy it from their site, but they do license companies all over the world to make and sell their merchandise. You want to look for the symbol on there, make sure it’s the NCAA logo and their trademark,” said Wikstrom.

The BBB says to be extra careful when purchasing tickets in person, especially from someone you don’t know.

“Probably the most common is online, but they will do online scams where you’ll purchase the ticket through Craigslist or another selling site like that. You’ll meet, you’ll get the ticket. It will look authentic," said Wikstrom.

Fans are encouraged to pay with a credit card when purchasing tickets so you can dispute the charge if you do get scammed.

To learn more about ticket scams, click here.

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