Cubs fans are advised to purchase tickets through reputable sellers, such as a registered ticket broker, and to take extreme caution before buying tickets that are advertised by sellers on websites like Craigslist or other online sellers and could be fraudulent tickets.
Attorney General Lisa Madigan offered consumers the following tips regarding special-event ticket sales:
Don’t buy tickets from private parties. The tickets may be counterfeit. This includes avoiding any offers on online message boards (like Craigslist) or social media platforms.
Don’t pay cash for tickets. Consumers should only deal with a seller who accepts credit card payments or other secure payment methods. Consumers are urged not to buy tickets from an unsecured website. Consumers should also be wary of online escrow sites, especially those recommended by a seller. If an escrow site is suggested, the consumer should independently investigate whether the site is legitimate.
Never wire any payment to a seller for any reason. Buyers may be told that they will receive tickets after wiring money to an unknown seller. In many of these instances, the consumer becomes a victim of fraud. When buying online, consumers are urged to never wire money to anyone and should avoid using prepaid cards, debit cards or any other alternative method to purchase tickets. Purchasing tickets from a seller that accepts credit cards give consumers recourse to request a chargeback from their credit card company if the tickets are not delivered or are counterfeit.
Investigate a ticket broker. If dealing with a ticket broker, determine whether the broker is a member of the National Association of Ticket Brokers (www.natb.org) and the Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.org). Both organizations have membership standards that promote ethical business conduct.
Investigate online sellers. When purchasing a ticket online, consumers should familiarize themselves with the website and seller’s policies. Most legitimate sellers offer a guarantee as to the timely delivery and the authenticity of the ticket purchase.
For ticket brokers in Illinois, consumers can contact the Illinois Secretary of State’s Index Department in Springfield to ensure that the broker is properly registered. Illinois law requires ticket brokers to meet certain requirements, including maintaining a toll-free telephone number and a consumer rebate fund.
Read the fine print. When buying online, consumers should always note whether they are buying tickets at face value. Consumers also should familiarize themselves with the policies of the venue where the event is being held to determine whether the consumer must have actual ticket in hand, or whether the venue has a mechanism for accepting paperless tickets.
For paperless tickets, consumers should examine the document carefully to make sure that there is a legitimate and legible barcode that can be scanned. The consumer should carefully examine the ticket to make sure that the dates and other relevant information are correct.
Always keep in mind that if the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Madigan urged consumers affected by a ticket scam to file a complaint with her office by calling her Consumer Fraud Hotline at 1-800-386-5438. Consumers also can file a complaint on Madigan’s website (illinoisattorneygeneral.gov).
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