Better Business Bureau: Exercise caution when purchasing Final Four tickets

CONTACT: Lisa Schiller, Media Relations

PHONE: 414- 847- 6055

FAX: 414-302- 0355

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Milwaukee, Wis. – With the Wisconsin Badgers in the national semifinals of the NCAA tournament, fans are hurrying to find tickets, and BBB is advising fans to exercise caution when buying tickets. Each year, how far a team goes in the NCAA tournament is often unpredictable, but one thing fans can control is the security of their ticket purchases. BBB says “Go Badgers!” – and – recommends cross checking any vendor before handing over payment.

Large sporting events are hotbeds for scammers looking to make a quick buck off unsuspecting customers, and the high cost of attending a prestigious event like March Madness leads fans to scour the Internet for the best deal. Con artists take advantage of this opportunity to capitalize on tickets that may not even exist.

If you plan on traveling to support the Wisconsin Badgers in the Final Four, BBB offers the following tips to avoid ticket scams:

Use reliable sellers. Beware of fly-by-night ticket sellers. Check first with the NCAA’s official ticket resale website at primesport.com or the official NCAA Ticket Exchange. If purchasing from a ticket broker, check its reliability with the BBB. Also check if they are members of the National Association of Ticket Brokers (NATB).

Check your ticket vendor’s guarantee policy. Many legitimate ticket websites, including members of the NATB, guarantee every ticket sold on their sites and will replace them or provide refunds to consumers if they receive the wrong tickets or their tickets are invalid. Craigslist and other online classifieds operate under the “buyer beware” premise and offer no such guarantees.

Use secure websites for online transactions. When buying tickets or making online reservations, make sure you’re using a secure website. Look for a padlock on the page, and the letter “s” in the URL after “http.” If neither is present, the site is not secure and your payment information may not be safe.

Do your research. If buying online from a third-party seller, request a fax copy of the tickets before making payment so that you can confirm the seats match up with the venue. Look for authentic security marks on the actual paper tickets.

Don’t believe you’re that lucky. The reason tickets are expensive is because they’re hard to get and the chances of getting lucky and finding a deal are slim. If a situation sounds too good to be true, such as someone selling tickets for much less than offered elsewhere, be leary.

Pay with a credit card. Paying with a credit card is a secure way to do business and offers the most protection should something go wrong.

Be prepared to pay additional fees. Unlike airline tickets, which are now required by law to disclose all taxes and additional fees upfront, the ticket price listed at the start of the purchasing process will likely not be your final price.

If you’ve been the victim of a ticket scam report it to BBB.org .

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For more information or further inquiries, contact the Wisconsin BBB at http://www.bbb.org/wisconsin or 414-847-6000 (metro Milwaukee), 920-734-4352 (Appleton), 608-268-2221 (Madison) or 1-800-273-1002 (elsewhere in Wisconsin). Consumers also can find more information about how to protect themselves from scams by following the Wisconsin BBB on Twitter, Facebook and You Tube.

ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2014, people turned to BBB more than 165 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 4.7 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org . The Council of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for 112 local, independent BBBs across North America, as well as home to its national programs on dispute resolution, advertising review, and industry self-regulation. BBB Serving Wisconsin was founded in 1939 and serves the state of Wisconsin.