With many San Diegans getting ready to put on their best red and black gear to watch San Diego State play in their first 2013 NCAA Tournament game this Friday, the BBB is warning local consumers of March Madness related scams. Regardless of which team you’re rooting for to win the big dance (although we have to say – Go Aztecs!) scammers often capitalize on the scarcity of tickets and fan’s desire to pick up the latest souvenirs and jerseys for their favorite teams.
We realize that it may be tempting to snag counterfeit merchandise or scour Craigslist for tickets, but often times these “sellers” are just scammers looking to make a quick buck. To make sure you stay pumped for game day, follow these few tips:Purchase wisely. Craigslist offers hundreds of NCAA tickets, but none of them are a guaranteed buy. Sellers do not have to provide identification when listing tickets, or provide refunds or exchanges. While they will be more expensive and may not available, the BBB recommends purchasing directly from the NCAA Tournament website at http://www.ncaa.com/tickets or checking out a reputable third party seller at www.bbb.org.
Do your research. Lodging scams may also be a problem during events such as March Madness. Scammers may lure attendees by advertising low prices – or they may charge premium prices by claiming the hotel is closer to the arena than it actually is. Others may offer a package of tickets and a hotel room, when there is little way to verify whether the tickets exist or are legitimate.
If it seems too good to be true...While counterfeit goods may seem like a good deal, in reality they are stolen and illegal. If you love your team, don’t cheat them from making a profit by buying from someone who has stolen their name and logo. Additionally, they are often poorly made and may not last more than a wash or two. The best way to ensure you’re getting quality jerseys, hats, mugs and more is to buy directly from the team or league’s website.
As always, when dealing with lodging, tickets, memorabilia and everything in between, the BBB cautions consumers against wiring money. When you send money via wire transfer, it is almost always impossible to trace the recipient or retrieve your funds. If you want to actually attend the big game in your favorite player’s jersey, be very wary of wiring funds of any amount.
To verify the legitimacy of any company, always visit bbb.org before you buy. Good luck with your brackets and happy March Madness!