AG Beemer warns consumers of potential scams with college football bowl game tickets on sale

HARRISBURG — Attorney General Bruce R. Beemer today reminded Pennsylvania college football fans to be on the lookout for potential scams now that tickets for bowl games have gone on sale.

The Office of Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection in the past has received complaints from the public concerning underhanded ticket sellers, questionable travel packages and counterfeit tickets.

Penn State and Pittsburgh are two college football teams from Pennsylvania to earn bids to bowl games. Penn State on Jan. 2 will play the University of Southern California in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. Pittsburgh is scheduled to play on Dec. 28 in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl against Northwestern University. That game will be held at Yankee Stadium in New York.

“Fan enthusiasm can serve as a good cover for con artists who are trying to take advantage of consumers for financial gain,” Attorney General Beemer said. “It is important for people to know the pitfalls to avoid when purchasing tickets to sporting events.”

The Bureau of Consumer Protection offers the following tips to avoid ticket-related scams:

  • Purchase tickets from a reputable seller.
  • Never wire-transfer money to individuals you do not know.
  • Make sure the location of your seats corresponds with actual seat numbers, rows and sections in the stadium.
  • Understand the terms and conditions of the sale when purchasing tickets online or from ticket brokers.
  • Consider using a credit card to pay for tickets (You can dispute charges on a credit card if the tickets are not delivered or turn out to be counterfeit).

Consumers should consider the following tips when purchasing a travel package:

  • Pay particular attention to what the travel package does and does not offer (Do not assume that every package includes airfare, hotel accommodations and tickets to the game).
  • Get all the offers, terms and conditions of your package in writing, including the cancellation policy, in the event that you are unable to make the trip.
  • Research the hotel and its location. In some instances, consumers have been told that their hotel is within walking distance to the venue, when in reality it was too far to walk and required additional expenses to either rent a car or pay for other ground transportation.
  • Do not use cash or wire-transfer money.
  • Be wary of unknown and private sellers who refuse to provide you with verifiable contact information.
  • Be cautious of travel packages that appear to be extremely cheap or extremely expensive.

Consumers who wish to file a complaint or report illegal activity associated with Rose Bowl ticket sales are encouraged to call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-441-2555. Complaints can also be filed online at www.attorneygeneral.gov

SOURCE: AG’s OFFICE