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As the PGA Championship approaches, many consumers will be starting to look for last minute tickets. BBB warns consumers of scammers taking advantage of anyone looking for a great last minute deal.
Events like the PGA Championship sell out quickly, and fans could be tempted to buy from the secondary market, where tickets always pop up. Currently, there are several listings for tickets on Craigslist. BBB warns fans to be careful when buying tickets from individuals online or from unfamiliar sources. Here are some tips to keep you from buying fake tickets and to avoid getting ripped off:
Buy from a reputable source. It’s always a safe bet to buy directly from the source. By going to the official PGA website you’re guaranteeing legitimate tickets. Sites like Ticketmaster offer different packages as well. If you buy tickets from unfamiliar sources or scalpers, there is no guarantee that they will be legitimate. (Scalping laws vary from state to state.)
Research the seller. If you plan to purchase tickets from a brokerage, check the company’s BBB Business Review. If you buy from scalpers, or from individuals through classified ads or on the internet, you could be taking a big chance. The tickets could turn out fake, and there isn’t anything a fan can do about it.
Check their policies. Research the ticket broker’s refund policy before purchasing. Only buy from a ticket reseller that provides clear details about the terms of the transaction. Assess the company’s policy for customer satisfaction and what happens if tickets purchased through their site are fake or not as advertised.
Beware of classified sites like Craigslist. These sites are hot spots for scams. Look for red flags such as out-of-state sellers, or misspelling and grammar errors in posts or responses. Sellers offering a “Craigslist Guarantee” or an online escrow or middle-man service to “ensure buyer safety,” should be considered a big risk. Sellers offering tickets for “too-good-to-be-true” prices are more red flags.
Use secure websites for online transactions. When buying tickets or making hotel and travel reservations online, make sure you’re using a secure site. The letter “s” in the URL after “http” stands for “Secure,” Example: https://www.xyz.com. If there is no “s”, the site is not secure and your credit card or bank account information may not be safe.
Beware of online sellers leading you away from secure, reliable transaction methods such as PayPal or those who discourage using credit cards. If you use a credit card and something goes wrong, you can dispute the charge with the credit card provider. Beware of sellers that want you to wire money via Western Union - there is no way to trace the cash if something goes wrong.
For more information, go bbb.org.