Don't fall victim to event ticket scams this fall
BATON ROUGE - With football fever ready to strike Southeastern Louisiana yet again, the Attorney General's Office offered some words of caution for fans who intend to take to the web in order to score that elusive set of tickets to see their favorite team suit up and take to the gridiron.
"Consumers lose millions of dollars each year to con artists selling phony tickets or through illegal ticket sales," said Attorney General "Buddy" Caldwell. "Unfortunately, ticket trickery can happen at sporting events, concerts, plays, and theme parks, so buyers should beware."
Caldwell has some general rules about online ticket purchases to keep in mind whether it be for a sporting event, festival or concert:
• Stick with reputable ticket resellers and ticket brokers who guarantee that the tickets they sell are authentic and that they will deliver the correct tickets in time for the event.
• Before clicking on an online vendor's website, copy-and-paste its address on an online search engine and see what results come up. This can help you get wind of possible computer malware being installed on your computer if you click on the link, or warnings about deceptive sales from past customers.
• Be sure the purchase page address begins with https://, indicating that the site is encrypted to protect your credit card information.
• Visit the website for the National Association of Ticket Brokers (NATB) at www.natb.org, whose members must guarantee every ticket sold on their websites and provide a double-money-back refund if tickets are not delivered.
• Check guarantee policies. Even if vendors aren't NATB members, they still should post on their websites policies that guarantee refunds if the event is cancelled, you receive invalid or wrong-date tickets, or don't get them at all. Be wary of websites without such stated policies.
• Know the fees. Legitimate online ticket sellers can (and often do) charge service, shipping or other fees. Although they should be disclosed upfront, they may not be revealed until the "checkout" page. So keep tabs on your subtotal throughout the buying process; it can change.
• Pay by credit card. Credit cards give you protections that other methods of payment may not. If there's a problem, you have the right to dispute charges and temporarily withhold payment while your dispute is investigated.
• Never wire money to buy tickets. If something goes wrong with the transaction, you'll have no way to get your money back. Once you wire money, it's gone forever.
To learn more about scams and fraud, visit www.AGBuddyCaldwell.com or call Attorney General Caldwell's Consumer Protection Hotline at (800) 351-4889