Better Business Bureau warns of scams during March Madness - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Better Business Bureau warns of scams during March Madness

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March Madness is a hotbed for scammers. March Madness is a hotbed for scammers.
SPOKANE, Wash. -

March Madness is here, and with it comes potential scammers. Large sporting events like March Madness attract scammers looking to make a quick buck off of fans, and the high cost of tickets to an event like the NCAA Tournament can lead fans astray. The Better Business Bureau is offering the following tips so basketball fans don't get fouled by scammers.

Tickets:

- Check out the official NCAA ticket information at ncaa.com/tickets.

- If you buy a ticket outside the event, remember there are usually no refunds or guarantees. Research the ticket site or seller to see if it provides any buyer protections, such as money-back guarantees if tickets are fake. Always read the fine print.

- If you’re buying tickets online, ask for a picture of the tickets so you can confirm the tickets match the venue.

- Be wary of ticket offers at extreme discount prices, these are most likely too good to be true.

Team Merchandise:

- Buy directly from the team or league websites, official vendors at the stadium or other trusted stores. It’s okay to be skeptical of impostor brands. Sadly, they are out there waiting for events like this to prey on hopeful fans.

- Watch out for unsolicited emails from pop-up Internet shops selling gear for your favorite squad. If you don't wish to receive emails from a business in question, opt to unsubsubscribe from their list. Replying to emails like this will confirm you’re using a working address and will likely get you in regular rotation for their spam.

- Beware of phony websites that appear to sell official team merchandise but are only after your credit card number.

- Do your due diligence before clicking "buy now.” Confirm details like a promised delivery time and refund or return policies.

General Tips:

- Before using an outside seller, check them out at bbb.org. Also, look for reviews from fellow consumers who have used the same site. Have they received any complaints for selling counterfeit or copycat items?

- Avoid using sites such as Craigslist, which offers no guarantees or seller identification.

- Make sure the website is secure before you make a purchase online (look for the padlock and ‘https’ in the address bar).

- Ask the seller where he or she is located and how to contact him or her after the sale. If the seller is evasive or provides fraudulent contact info, do not pursue the offer.

- Never wire money or pay with a cashier’s check. There is no way of getting your money back with these options.

- Always use a credit card. Your credit card company can help you obtain a refund if the offer is fake or the tickets are never received.

- If you do come across a fraudulent business, sharing your experience will help other diehard fans avoid the con.

- Be careful when booking a hotel if you’re traveling to see a game. Ask for all details about the hotel, including address and confirmation number and call the hotel to verify that the room exists.

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