DATCP: Instant replay for Packer ticket scams

Contact: Bob Zaspel (920) 448-5111

GREEN BAY — It seems like a never-ending problem; Packer season brings Packer ticket fraud.

Recently, a consumer thought he purchased a complete season ticket package for $4,000. The tickets never arrived and the seller claimed the tickets somehow got lost during delivery.

“Instances like this are not uncommon,” says Janet Jenkins, consumer protection division administrator, Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. “Fraudulent ticket offers appear on Craigslist, on websites, and in classified ads.”

Working with the Green Bay Packers and local law enforcement officials, consumer protection staff has been able to obtain refunds for many defrauded consumers. However, even when sellers refund the ticket price, some consumers still lose money on hotel and airline reservations.

The department’s Bureau of Consumer Protection offers several tips to avoid becoming a ticket fraud victim:

* Ask the seller to fax you a copy of the actual tickets before paying any money or giving a credit card number.

* Do not give out your credit card number on the phone unless you’re sure the seller is legitimate. Contact the Bureau of Consumer Protection to determine if complaints have been filed against the business and check the business with the Better Business Bureau.

* Use a credit card rather than a check or debit card if you purchase tickets since it may provide some protection if you don’t receive the tickets.

* Try to deal with “official” sources for tickets such as those endorsed by the team or those that are members of the National Association of Ticket Brokers. These businesses carefully screen ticket offers and take other measures to protect consumers from ticket fraud.

* Verify that any travel agent with whom you are dealing is a member of a recognized trade association such as the American Society of Travel Agents.

And finally:

* Do not get on a plane without having official game tickets in hand.

For more consumer information, or to file a consumer complaint, visit the Bureau of Consumer Protection’s website at http://www.datcp.state.wi.us, email us at [email protected] or call (800) 422-7128.