Monday, December 22, 2014
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Beware counterfeit tickets
With the Spurs playing in the NBA finals, the X Games hitting Austin this weekend, and summer concerts in full swing, many fans are eager to get tickets to their favorite event.
Officials warn of fake tickets when buying online or from individuals.
Scams typically pop up on online auction sites, classifieds and with ticket dealers. Last year, from May to September alone, the Better Business Bureau received over 800 complaints nationally against event ticket brokers. The most common complaints allege consumers paid for counterfeit tickets or paid in advance for tickets that never arrived.
The National Association of Ticket Brokers (NATB) is a good place to turn when purchasing event tickets. They work with law enforcement agencies, professional sports teams and other organizations to fight against counterfeit tickets. When purchasing tickets online, it’s important to know you’re working with a reputable seller.
Do your research.
Assess the company’s policy for customer satisfaction and what happens if tickets purchased through its site are fake or not as advertised.
Know the total price. When buying tickets online, be mindful of convenience or venue fees that can raise the price. Before you make any payments, be sure it includes all charges, shipping, handling, insurance and taxes. Coupons and other discounts should be properly deducted.
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. The reason tickets are expensive is because they’re hard to get and the chances of you getting lucky and finding a deal are slim. If a situation sounds too good to be true, such as someone selling tickets to a popular event for much less than offered elsewhere, it probably is.
Pay with a credit card or PayPal account. Consumers should avoid paying by cash, check or wiring money to a seller. Often there is little or no way to get back your money if the tickets do not arrive, which is why scammers often do business this way. Using a credit card or PayPal account provides additional protection and the opportunity for potential reimbursement if the seller is uncooperative or does not follow through with sending tickets.
Read the fine print. Some websites include service charges and additional shipping fees with the purchase of tickets. Will you get a refund if it is cancelled or rained out? Is it standing room or seats? This information should be identified at the time of purchase or available on the website and disclosed to you before the transaction is finalized.
It's better to be safe than sorry. Think before you buy.
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