Home > Identity Theft > The Scams That Can Destroy Your Super Bowl 50 Dreams

Comments 0 Comments

Super Bowl 50 is rapidly approaching, but you may want to think twice before you jump on any ticket offers that happen to come your way — especially if they seem too good to be true. Scammers have been known to swarm around the big game, ready to sell counterfeit tickets to unwitting fans looking to purchase passes on the secondary market.

These fraudsters may manufacture fake tickets, sell tickets they don’t have, sell obstructed view or non-existent seats at full price, and even use online classified ads or fake versions of legitimate websites to steal your payment and personal information. Falling for one of these fake tickets scams can cost you (Super Bowl 50 tickets started at about $4,000 and identity theft could lead to additional headaches).

Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself if you’re looking to make it out to Santa Clara, Calif., on Feb. 7. Here are some best practices, culled from previous fake ticket warnings from the Better Business Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission, that Broncos, Panthers and football fans in general may want to keep in mind.

1. Research, Research, Research

Take a moment to see if any purported seller has complaints against them on the BBB’s website. You can also check to see if the seller is a registered member of the National Association of Ticket Brokers (NATB). Remember, there’s a big difference between a legitimate ticket seller and a ticket scalper. According to the FTC, reputable sellers offer guarantees that the tickets they sell are authentic and clearly outline their refund policies. They also will tell you the location of the seats, when the tickets will be available for pick up, or when they will ship.

You also may want to research the specific seats being offered. “Always ask for section, row and seat number to avoid obstructed view seats or seats that do not exist,” the BBB wrote in a Super Bowl ticket scam warning last year. “Also, feel free to ask questions to make certain you get all the answers you need to feel comfortable with your ticket purchase.”

2. Stick to Trusted & Secure Websites

To avoid turning your data over to a scammer, stick to trusted online ticket sellers. Go directly to each site, rather than entering through an email or online ad, and verify that the site is secure before inputting your payment or personal info. You can tell a secured website by looking for https at the beginning of the Web address.

If you do have reason to believe you’ve been compromised, be sure to regularly check your financial accounts for fraud. You should also keep an eye on your credit for signs of identity theft. You can do so by pulling your credit reports (you can go here to learn how to get your free annual credit reports from the three credit bureaus) and by viewing your credit scores for free each month on Credit.com.

3. Pay By Credit Card

Credit cards generally offer better fraud protections than cash and debit cards, so you may want to make this your payment of choice if you’re looking to buy tickets. And consider it a big red flag is the seller asks you to wire money in exchange for the seats. “If something goes wrong with the transaction, you’ll have no way to get your money back,” the FTC wrote in a World Cup Ticket Scam warning in 2014. “Once you wire money, it’s gone forever.”

4. Report Violations

If you do fall prey to a ticket scammer, report it to the proper authorities. Doing so can help keep others from becoming victims of the same scheme. You can contact the NATB at 1-630-510-4594 and file a complaint with the BBB at bbb.org. You can also file a complaint with the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint or call 1-877-FTC-HELP.

More on Identity Theft:

Image: iStock

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

Certain credit cards and other financial products mentioned in this and other articles on Credit.com News & Advice may also be offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com will be compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards or products. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.

Our Owners

Credit.com is owned by Progrexion Holdings Inc. which is the owner and administrator of a number of business related to credit and credit repair, including CreditRepair.com, and eFolks. In addition, Progrexion also provides services to Lexington Law Firm as a third party provider. Despite being owned by Progrexion, it is not the role of the Credit.com editorial team to advocate the use of the company’s other services. In articles, reporters may mention credit repair as an option, for example, but we’ll also be sure to note the various alternatives to that service. Furthermore, you may see ads for credit repair services on Credit.com, but the editorial team isn’t responsible for the creation or implementation of those ads, anymore than reporters for the New York Times or Washington Post are responsible for the ads on their sites.

Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team