Consumer Alert! BBB warns of fake ticket scams during March Madness

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — March Madness will be in full effect this week in Memphis as FedExForum plays host to two Sweet 16 matchups.

Number 1 ranked North Carolina takes on number four Butler, and in a much-anticipated return to Memphis, Coach John Calipari’s Kentucky Wildcats will go up against the UCLA Bruins.

However, in all the excitement of trying to get tickets, experts say don’t get caught up in a scam.

According to information from the MidSouth Better Business Bureau, the New York Daily News reported one basketball fan spent $500 on tickets on an online classifieds site last year.

He was just steps away from entering the Barclays Center to watch the game when he found out his tickets were fraudulent, according to the report.

WREG found dozens of listings for NCAA tournament tickets in Memphis on Craigslist Tuesday.

However, experts say it’s hard for the average fan to determine whom they’re really buying from.

Hoping a bar code will protect you? BBB officials say scalpers will sell the same ticket with the same bar code over and over again.

BBB’s Tips on Avoiding Ticket Scams

  • Avoid online classifieds sites like Craigslist. The site may be legitimate but the tickets may not be.
  • Purchase from the venue or the official NCAA website at ncaa.com. NCAA also offers resale options for ticketholders through PrimeSport.com, the Official Ticket & Hospitality Provider of the NCAA.
  • Check out the seller/broker. Check them out at bbb.org to read reviews and complaints to learn what other customers have experienced. Check to see if they’re a member of the National Association of Ticket Brokers. NATB members offer a 200% guarantee on tickets that don’t arrive in time for an event.
  • Buy only from vendors you know and trust. Don’t click through on links in emails or online ads. Check the spelling of the url to make sure you are on the site you think you’re on.
  • Know the refund policy. You should only purchase tickets from a ticket reseller that provides clear details about the terms of the transaction.
  • Use payment methods that come with protection. Pay with a credit card or PayPal so you have some recourse if the tickets turn out to be not as promised.
  • Be wary of advertisements with ridiculously low prices.  Use common sense; some of these could be scams