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Don’t go mad over ticket scams when March Madness comes to Boise

The NCAA early-round tournament will be in Boise March 13-April 2.
The NCAA early-round tournament will be in Boise March 13-April 2. AP

Better Business Bureau Northwest & Pacific is ready to cheer on Boise State during the NCAA Tournament, March 13-April 2. It will be especially fun since the first and second rounds of the tournament will be played at the Taco Bell Arena. But with so many fans hoping to catch a game, scammers are looking for ways to steal the show.

Your BBB joins the National Association of Ticket Brokers (NATB) to raise awareness and educate consumers about the smartest ways to buy tickets on the secondary resale market. The NATB, a BBB National Partner, is an association of more than 200 professional ticket resale companies who abide by a strict Code of Ethics with numerous consumer protection measures such as a 200 percent money-back guarantee.

Here are some tips, whether you are looking for tickets for a playoff game or any other event:

▪ Purchase from the venue. Whenever possible, use the official ticket sales agent for the venue. Many now offer secondary sales options, as well.

▪ Consider your source. Know the difference between a professional ticket broker (a legitimate and accredited reseller), a ticket scalper (an unregulated and unlicensed ticket seller), and a scammer selling fraudulent tickets.

▪ Check out the seller/broker. Look them up on bbb.org to learn what other customers have experienced. Check to see if they are a member of the National Association of Ticket Brokers Look up the seller on VerifiedTicketSource.com to confirm you are buying from an NATB-member resale company.

▪ Know the refund policy. You should only purchase tickets from a ticket reseller that provides clear details about the terms of the transaction. Sellers should disclose to the purchaser, prior to purchase, the location of the seats represented by the tickets, either orally or by reference to a seating chart; and, if the tickets are not available for immediate access to the purchaser, disclose when the tickets will ship or be available for pick up.

▪ 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 transfer or cash transactions are risky; if the tickets are fraudulent, you won’t be able to get your money back.

▪ Be wary of advertisements. When you search the web for online tickets, advertisements for cheap tickets will often appear. Remember, if the price sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Veronica Craker, veronica.craker@thebbb.org, is the content and communications director for Better Business Bureau Northwest +Pacific. To check a business or report a scam, go to bbb.org or call 208-342-4649.

Online

To learn more about scams targeting popular events, visit bbb.org/tickets. Report scams to your local law enforcement at bbb.org/scamtracker.

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