DATCP: Shop smart for NCAA Final Four tickets

Media Contact: Jerad Albracht, 608-224-5007 Jim Dick, Communications Director, 608-224-5020

MADISON – Final Four, baby! The Wisconsin Badgers are back in the national semifinals of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, and tickets are going to be a hot commodity. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) asks fans to buy tickets from businesses or people they know and trust.

“Demand for Final Four tickets is huge, and scammers know fans are willing to pay anything for a ticket,” said Sandy Chalmers, DATCP Assistant Deputy Secretary. “If you’re buying from a reseller, make sure policies on refunds or cancellations are clearly stated and are acceptable to you.”

Fraudulent ticket offers often appear on websites like Craigslist and in other classified advertisements. Avoid any too-good-to-be-true offers and any requests for you to pay by wire transfer or pre-paid debit card.

DATCP offers these additional tips to avoid becoming a victim of ticket fraud:

Try to deal with “official” sources for tickets. The NCAA advises fans to purchase tickets directly from:

* NCAA.com

* PrimeSport (the NCAA’s official ticket and hospitality package provider) at NCAA.com/VIP

* NCAA Ticket Exchange (the NCAA’s official ticket exchange) at NCAA.com/Exchange or Ticket offices of schools participating in the championships

* According to the NCAA, legitimate NCAA basketball championship tickets feature security marks that can’t be reproduced.

* Use a credit card to purchase tickets since it may provide a level of fraud protection – but do not give out your credit card number if you question the legitimacy of a seller.

* If you intend to buy tickets online, make sure the site is secure before you enter any personal or banking information – the URL for a secure site will start with “https” rather than “http” (the added “s” stands for “secure”).

* If you are buying from a third-party dealer, ask the seller to e-mail or fax you a copy of the actual tickets before making a payment. Fake tickets may include misspellings, have low- resolution graphics and be short on details about the event. Make sure the ticket information includes the correct date, time, location and seating details.

* Be leery of any tickets that appear to be photocopies. The barcode will only admit one entry, and the code could have been copied from a previous event ticket or could have been used on a number of other fake tickets.

* If you plan to buy tickets from an online classified ad, ask to meet the seller in person at a police station. If the seller refuses to meet you at a police station, it is likely a scam. Stop the transaction immediately.

All that said…On Wisconsin!

For additional information, visit the Consumer Protection Bureau at http://datcp.wisconsin.gov, send an e-mail to [email protected] or call the Consumer Information Hotline at 1-800-422-7128. Connect with us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/wiconsumer.