The Better Business Bureau of Rockford has recently issued a warning to baseball and concert fans about potential ticket scams that may arise during the upcoming season. With a major artist lineup including Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Madonna, and Bruce Springsteen, among others, many online platforms are already flooded with tickets for sale. This provides scammers with lucrative opportunities to steal fans' money, identity, tickets, and fun.

Electronic Tickets Not Immune to Fraud

Even in the era of primarily electronic exchanges, tickets and QR codes for entry may never be detected as fakes until you're left standing at the gate. According to Dennis Horton, director of the Rockford Regional Office of Better Business Bureau, "not only do scammers take money from consumers, but they also are taking money from legitimate businesses."

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Risks of Online Purchases

Online purchases rank as the #1 riskiest scam type in BBB Scam Tracker Risk Report for the third year in a row. With entertainment involved, often people are on a tight timeline, and emotions run high. To reduce the risk of scams, always search ratings and reviews with before you buy. Check out the seller/broker to learn what other customers have experienced.

Tips to Reduce Your Risk

Here are some BBB tips for baseball and concert fans to reduce the risk of money loss and identity theft:

  • Buy Tickets from Trusted Vendors
    Buy tickets at the box office or from the venue's official site, and be careful because imitation sites can appear first in internet searches. Only deal with secure websites. These will begin with "HTTPS" and have a "lock" symbol on the address bar.
  • Avoid Fake Websites
    Fake websites will offer tickets at low prices to trick people into entering their credit card info. Scammers can then use your credit card to purchase big-ticket items, and you never receive your ticket.
  • Be Aware of Counterfeit Tickets
    Counterfeit tickets with forged barcodes look very professional with a copy and pasted logo of the actual ticket company. You will be denied access when you arrive at the concert, and the scammer is long gone.
  • Use Payment Methods with Protection
    Use payment methods that come with protection. Always use a credit card, so you have some recourse if the tickets are not as promised. Debit cards, wire transfers, or cash transactions are money lost if the tickets are fraudulent.
  • Know the Refund Policy
    Know the refund policy. Only purchase tickets from a ticket reseller that provides clear details about the transaction terms. Know what happens when an event cancels or changes dates.
  • Be Alert to High Transaction Fees
    Be very alert to high transaction fees on the final page of your purchase. Many low-rated ticket sellers collect all your information before indicating sometimes exorbitant fees at the end of the transaction.
  • Official Merchandise
    For official merchandise, only buy merchandise at the concert venue, ballpark, or authorized vendors. Know the refund policy. You should only purchase merchandise from someone who discloses the terms and conditions of refunds or exchanges.
  • Be Aware of Unlicensed and Unofficial Clothing
    Be aware that unlicensed and unofficial clothing is often made from inferior materials that shrink and ink that might run and cause problems in the wash.
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To avoid falling victim to baseball and concert ticket scams, it's essential to purchase tickets from trusted vendors, use secure payment methods, and be aware of counterfeit tickets and fake websites. It's also crucial to know the refund policy and be alert