Omaha, Neb. —There are thousands of fans around the country searching for tickets for the NCAA College World Series (CWS) that begins on June 16th – June 27th in Omaha, Nebraska. Better Business Bureau (BBB) serving Nebraska, South Dakota, The Kansas Plains and Southwest Iowa is alerting consumers to be on guard for fraudulent sellers when shopping for tickets online. The CWS is big business for Omaha, and where there is big money to be made, scams often follow.
BBB warns that sellers of game tickets on secondary ticket websites may be fraudulent. “The most common ways secondary-ticket sellers scam college baseball fans is by delivering counterfeit tickets or simply not sending the tickets,” said BBB President Jim Hegarty. “Even if the tickets do arrive, they are sometimes not for the seats the seller advertised! This can mean that fans are stuck with seats that aren’t next to each other or are not in the reserved section but are located in the general admission section, which may mean long waits in line and no guarantee to get in.”
Fans must balance their passion for their team with an awareness that not all online ticket sellers will deliver on their promises, and a bad transaction could leave them at home on the couch instead of at the big game. CWS ticket buyers should also be skeptical of the hundreds of online auctions, online classifieds and bulletin boards using person-to-person sales.
The secondary-ticket market for sporting events, which includes tickets bought and sold by professional brokers, speculators and season-ticket holders, is a multi-billion-dollar-a-year industry, with online sales accounting for a large number of transactions.
To avoid problems buying tickets, the NCAA advises CWS ticket seekers to check out ticket information at ncaa.com to find information on what tickets are still available, ticket prices and fan-to-fan ticket exchange information. The NCAA and TD Ameritrade Park, the venue for the CWS, have teamed up to provide secure tickets. If you choose not to go through the NCAA or the TD Ameritrade Park ticket office to buy your tickets, BBB provides advice below for purchasing tickets online for the CWS:
- When buying from a merchant, always check with BBB at bbb.org to be sure that you’re dealing with a company that has a good reputation for satisfying its customers and has a secure website for processing your payment.
- When buying from an individual through an online exchange, don’t be lured away from the website by the seller. Even if you met the seller on the exchange website, the company may not guarantee any lost money if a transaction occurs outside their domain.
- If you buy tickets through an online auction, choose a seller with a long, continuous history of satisfied customers. Scammers can hijack old accounts, so make sure they have recently bought or sold other items.
- Pay with a credit card or through PayPal, which offers protection and potential reimbursement. Never pay with a cashier’s check or wire money to a seller; you’ll have no way to get your money back if the tickets do not arrive.
Many sellers will include pictures of the tickets with their posts on auction sites or bulletin boards. Scrutinize the tickets closely for any inaccuracies or alterations and cross-check the seat assignment with the map on the venue’s website before you buy.