As the Cincinnati Bengals enter the Super Bowl for the first time since 1989, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost offers the following tips to avoid falling victim to ticket scammers:
• Beware of offers that are too good to be true. Sellers on Craigslist or other online marketplaces may offer tickets at or below face value for events that are sold out or in high demand, but these offers may be scams. Some may offer “Hail Mary” explanations for why they need to sell tickets quickly, falsely claiming, for example, that they have a medical emergency or a military mission overseas.
• Be careful when dealing with individual third-party sellers. To protect yourself, deal with reputable companies rather than third parties that are not associated with an event. Beware of websites that may imitate the NFL logo or sponsor logos. Before providing payment or personal information, research a seller’s reputation, especially that of an individual seller. Find the seller’s name, username, email address, phone number and other details for information. Even if you don’t find any negative information, don’t assume the seller is trustworthy. Some scammers regularly change their names.
• Beware of sellers calling a beep on specific payment methods. Scammers often request payment methods that are difficult to trace or recover, such as wire transfers, cash, or gift cards. If you use a mobile wallet or peer-to-peer payment service such as Venmo or Zelle, make sure you understand what protections the service does or does not offer before making a transaction.
• Do not suffer a loss on the game. Remember to pay with a credit card. If something goes wrong, you usually have greater protections and the ability to dispute charges on a credit card, unlike some other payment methods.
• Consumers who believe they have been the victim of fraud should immediately report the details and contact the company they made the payment with.
Ohioans can report scams to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at OhioProtects.org or by calling 800-282-0515. Suspicious Craigslist ads can be reported to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office directly from Craigslist.