Beware Super Bowl ticket scammers

Peter Reuell

As fans get ready for the Super Bowl this weekend, the Better Business Bureau has added another item to the checklist for people headed to the game.

Besides packing, booking hotels and flights, fans should make sure their tickets are real.

With anticipation - and prices - running high for the game, Better Business Bureau Vice President of Communications Paula Fleming warned that scammers are almost certain to target fans ready to fork over thousands for a seat.

"I can say with confidence scams will take place," Fleming said Tuesday. "Unfortunately, it does occur, and it is very difficult to get any kind of monies back. It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and these scam artists know that."

When shopping for tickets, Fleming said, the number one rule fans should follow is to make sure they are dealing with a reputable ticket broker. Those who are not sure about the deal they're getting can check up on a company on the Better Business Bureau's Web site (

Other rules to follow: Make sure to get everything in writing, read the fine print of any ticket deals, and make sure sellers guarantee tickets are authentic and pay with a credit card, not cash, Fleming said.

"That will help if you need to take any recourse," she said.

And while Internet ticket resellers online auction sites seem to offer prime seats Fleming warned consumers to use a healthy dose of common sense when buying online.

"The Internet can provide a platform for dishonest people to take advantage of these consumers," she said. "You want to be cautious when shopping for tickets. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is."

Harder to police are community bulletin boards like Craigslist, where those with tickets can sell them in a one-on-one fashion.

"That's much tougher to police on our part," Fleming said. "It's almost impossible for us to do so."

And while most tickets sold online may be legit, she said many fans may not recognize frauds until it is too late.

"When you do get the tickets, they might look good," Fleming said. "You're not going to know if it's counterfeit or not until you get to the gate. We encourage people to check out a business prior to giving them any information. Use your gut - if you haven't heard of a business and you can't find any information about them, it should raise a red flag.

"There's a whole bunch of things for people to take into consideration, (but) whatever your method of purchasing tickets may be, do it intelligently and have fun."

Peter Reuell can be reached at 508-626-4428, or at

MetroWest Daily News