Don't get scammed on Canucks tickets, BBB warns
“Anytime there’s excitement around a big event like this, scammers will try to take advantage of unwitting fans,” says BBB president and CEO Lynda Pasacreta. “The most common way sports fans get scammed is by either paying for counterfeit tickets or paying in advance for tickets that never arrive.”
The internet has become a boon for the secondary ticket market for sporting and entertainment events, which includes tickets bought and sold by professional brokers, speculators and season ticket holders. According to StubHub.com (a fan-to-fan ticket selling website), online sales account for one-third of transactions and the market is growing 15 to 20 per cent a year. That many dollars being exchanged has attracted unethical ticket brokers and resellers.
BBB recommends looking for reputable ticket firms that provide buyer protections, including money back guarantees on the legitimacy of tickets. For example, some brokers take possession of tickets and verify them in-house before listing the tickets for resale; others require that sellers provide credit-card numbers as a protection to buyers. If the seller’s tickets are fake, the seller’s credit card gets charged for the cost of replacement tickets.
Whether you’re buying from a ticket broker or a private seller, BBB offers this advice for ticket shopping this playoff season:
• Check with BBB first. Find out the ticket broker’s credibility and reputation, such as time in the business and how they respond to complaints.
• Look for an address. Some brokers advertising online through Craigslist and other classified sites may not be legitimate. Check to see if they have a storefront address where you can follow up with them should anything go wrong with your purchase.
• Read the fine print. Read through the terms and conditions and be sure to verify the ticket delivery dates. Find out what guarantees are offered with the purchase.
• Never pay the seller by cash, cashier’s check or wire transfer. You will have no way to get your money back if the tickets do not arrive or are counterfeit. Pay with a credit card or through PayPal, both of which offer some protection to the buyer.
• Buy tickets from authorized sources. Find out from the event organizer who authorized dealers are and when tickets are being released. For instance, the Vancouver Canucks have a Twitter feed announcing the release of new tickets and how to purchase them.
• Check the history. If you buy tickets through eBay, choose a seller with a long history of satisfied customers. Scammers can hijack old accounts, so make sure the seller has recently sold other tickets. You should also click on the item number to view what was sold. It should send up a red flag if the seller has sold 500 items and has never sold tickets before.
• Make sure they’re real. If you're buying from a private party, verify that the tickets are authentic. Ask to see a receipt or paperwork showing where the tickets came from.