Super Bowl Brings Out Scams: Ticket, Hotel and Check-Cash Ripoffs

super bowlThe Super Bowl is ripe for scam artists looking to lure excited fans away from their money. Pennsylvania's Acting Attorney General Bill Ryan says he's seeing bogus sweepstakes offers, fake travel packages and phony ticket offers, and wants people to beware.

"It's important for football fans to carefully review the details of any ticket offer or travel promotion before handing over cash or credit card information," said Ryan. "Scam artists are counting on the fact that enthusiastic fans will get caught up in the excitement of the Super Bowl and will not be as attentive as they should be."Ticket scams are nothing new and pop up regularly around big sporting events like bowl games, which WalletPop wrote about last month.

One includes an authentic-looking check which you've "won" to cover expenses. Victims are told to deposit the check and transfer a portion of their money to another account to cover airfare and lodging. But the check is fake, leaving fans without funds.

Sometimes people are told that they've won tickets, but they have to wire money to a "claims agent" to pay taxes and fees.

"In some cases, consumers learned at the gate that their tickets were counterfeit and they were denied entry," Ryan said. "In other cases, fans purchased hotel rooms that were inconveniently located, or were charged additional fees for services that they thought were included in the package, such as tickets to the game."

To ensure that you're not being faked out:
  • Make sure you're dealing with a reputable travel agent. Double check with the Better Business Bureau in your area.
  • Don't be pressured into making an immediate decision.
  • If the package includes airfare and tickets, the travel agent should have tickets in hand, or a written contract to obtain the tickets, before the agent can make the offer. If a ticket is offered but not provided, you may be entitled to a full refund.
Consumers can file complaints, if they've had a problem, by contacting their attorney general's office. For more tips, check here.

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