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Better Business Bureau: Tips to avoid March Madness scams

Want to cheer on the home team from the sidelines during March Madness?

Whether you’re looking for tickets to root on the Gonzaga Bulldogs, Oregon Ducks or another favorite team, be on the defense for ticket scammers.

While basketball fans go crazy for the NCAA Tournament, scammers will have a frenzy over the large sporting event crowd and try to take advantage of fans looking for the best ticket deal.

Better Business Bureau serving the Northwest offers the following advice to avoid March Madness scams:

  • Eliminate the competition. Use the official NCAA website for a secure place to purchase tickets. Fans also have the ability to safely and securely buy tickets directly from other fans that can’t make the game with the NCAA Ticket Exchange.  
  • Play smart. Before deciding to purchase tickets on other sites make sure to research the seller at bbb.org. Secure, legal sites include StubHub.com, SeatGeek and BBB Accredited business Vivid Seats for second-hand purchases. These sites guarantee their consumers and sellers a secure transaction.  
  • Read your travel package. Just because a travel package has “NCAA Tournament” in the name doesn’t mean it includes tickets; if game tickets are not explicitly mentioned in ads, do not assume they are included. 
  • Research away game hotels and locations. Dishonest businesses may advertise that they are close to the stadium or “walking distance” when in fact they are not, requiring extra expenditures for car rentals or taxis. 
  • Support the team store. Buy team merchandise directly from the team website or official vendors at the stadium. Buying directly from the team gives the school funds and diverts funds away from cheap counterfeit merchandise.  
  • Avoid pop-ups while making brackets. Don’t fall for the trick when ads ask to download malware or type in a password. Exit any type of ad or pop up while typing in teams on any website.  
  • Defense wins championships. Pay with a credit card to get protection if scammed. The credit card company can help obtain a refund if the tickets are fake. There is no option of getting money back by paying with cash, wiring money or a cashier’s check. 
  • Put a method to the madness. Be cautious of extreme discount ticket prices. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. 

The road to the Final Four doesn’t have to end here. If scammed, share the experience with BBB Scam Tracker so other fans can avoid the scheme. Check out more information on fraudulent ticket purchasing at bbb.org/tickets.


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