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Rose Bowl tickets now on sale; BBB says be on the lookout for scammers

MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Wisconsin Badgers fans are excited about their football team's first visit to the Rose Bowl in seven years. However, the Better Business Bureau is warning those fans to watch out for Rose Bowl ticket scammers. 

The BBB offers these recommendations for fans, no matter how they’re purchasing their tickets:

  • Try to purchase tickets through the team’s official websites. If tickets are sold out and you need to go through a re-seller, make sure to look the business up on bbb.org to see its BBB rating, complaint history and reviews from past customers. Before buying, read the refund and guarantee policies carefully to see if there are any buyer protections.
  • If purchasing from an online auction site, like eBay, never leave the website to finish a transaction; you will lose protection a website like eBay provides.
  • Try to buy from someone who is local and has a good history of satisfying customers. Check other consumers’ feedback before purchasing tickets from the seller.
  • If you are buying tickets through an online classified ad site, never pay the seller by wire transfer. You will have no way to get your money back if the tickets do not arrive or are counterfeit. Use either a credit card or Paypal, so that charges can be disputed if there is a problem with the tickets.
  • Ask the seller to email you a picture of the tickets, including a receipt or other proof that the tickets are not counterfeit. Scrutinize the picture carefully, looking for any alterations or inaccuracies, and cross-check the seat assignment with the map on the venue’s Web site before you buy.
  • Never go alone to pick up tickets purchased from someone online, and always meet in a public place. The “seller” knows when and where you’re going to be, and that you’re carrying a lot of cash. He/she may be setting you up to get robbed.
  • If purchasing a package, ask for the name, address and phone number of the hotel where the room is located, and call the hotel to verify that the room actually exists. Check the hotel’s website or a well-known travel site to be sure that the location is convenient for getting to and from the stadium.
  • Be wary of ads that pile on incentives to make the package look better. Often the items – such as lanyards, T-shirts or other trinkets – have limited value.
  • Be careful buying tickets from someone on the street. When you get to the gate and find out your tickets aren’t real, the seller will be long gone.
  • Lastly, no matter how excited you are for the upcoming game, do NOT post photos of your tickets on social media sites. Scammers often try to replicate tickets using bar codes that could prevent you from getting into the game in the first place.

The BBB also offers this advice to keep fans from purchasing counterfeit fan apparel:

  • Make sure you’re buying from the college’s official team site or a reputable website that’s legally allowed to sell NCAA gear. Authentic apparel will always have the correct fonts, colors and spelling, attached tags will usually have hologram stickers, and there won’t be any loose threads or other signs of poor quality
  • Beware of phony websites that appear to sell official team merchandise but instead are selling poor-quality, counterfeit merchandise. Look for valid, working contact information for the company on its website, and that the company is located in the United States, before making a purchase. Also, confirm details like a promised delivery time and refund or return policies.
  • If you do come across a fraudulent business, share your experience. Write a BBB Customer Review or post your experience on BBB Scam Tracker and help other fans avoid the con.

For more information or further inquiries, contact the Wisconsin BBB at www.bbb.org/wisconsin, 414-847-6000 or 1-800-273-1002. Consumers also can find more information about how to protect themselves from scams by following the Wisconsin BBB on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

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