Super Bowl Super Scams Cropping Up

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — The Super Bowl is best thought of as a time to rekindle old rivalries and eat more than 1 billion chicken wings (seriously), but the big game also tends to bring scammers out of the woodwork.

All of the over-zealous football fans in search of tickets and travel accommodations make good marks, but the Better Business Bureau looks to change that with some tips on how to avoid becoming a victim.

Verify ticket-sellers and travel agencies with your local BBB.
The BBB says it received 1,957 complaints against ticket sellers in 2011, with most complaints alleging that tickets were misrepresented, not delivered within the estimated timeframe or never delivered at all. All it takes is a quick check on your local BBB website to see that the seller (and, similarly, the travel agency) you’re thinking of using is in good standing.  

Beware shady Internet sites. The BBB says people should not buy tickets from websites that “are not secure or lack a privacy policy, fail to disclose their refund, rescheduling and cancellation policies, do not provide a telephone number and fixed place of business or insist on cash payment.”

Check to see that tickets are worth the price.
According to the BBB, most Super Bowl tickets are being advertised for between $2,000 and $15,000. With prices that high, check the location of the seats on a seating chart so you’re not coerced into purchasing obstructed view seats or, worse yet, ones that do not exist. You can find the seating chart for Lucas Oil Stadium, which is hosting this year’s game, on its website.

Ask to see tickets or a written contract for them before purchasing a travel package, because, by law, tour operators offering travel packages are required to have either on hand. They should also be able to provide details of the package in writing, including final price, itinerary, rescheduling and cancellation penalties, delivery information and other specifics, including the name of the hotel and airline, the BBB says.

Pay with a credit card or third-party payment processor, such as Pay Pal. These payment methods entitle cardholders to additional fraud protection and also allow them to track the purchase as it goes through. 

You can find more tips on how to avoid Super Bowl scams on the BBB website.