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BBB says avoid the foul and reject scam, schemers target NCAA fans’ wallets
DUPONT — Whether it’s Gonzaga going all the way or University of Oregon pulling off the upset, Better Business Bureau is warning fans of March Madness scams. Shysters are putting on the full-court press this month as basketball fanatics book tickets, check brackets and purchase merchandise.
Exercise caution when handing over cash for game day seats. In the first few weeks of the tournament, thousands of tickets will be listed on private classifieds websites by dishonest sellers. Check for legitimate ticket outlets at www.ncaa.com/tickets.
“Knock-off memorabilia is also a big problem this time of year,” says Robert W.G. Andrew, CEO of BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington. “Scammers hijack logos and team names, producing cheaper products just to make a buck; the teams are the real victims.”
Schemers are also taking cons to the digital court, attempting to poison queries related to the tournament in order to push malicious links to the top of search result pages. Watch out for cyber scams when checking or updating online brackets.
To avoid the steal this basketball season, BBB urges shoppers to play aggressive defense before making deals.
• Square Up: Take time to research memorabilia and jersey retailers at www.bbb.org; if in doubt, purchase items directly from official stadium vendors and team or league websites.
• Pick and Roll: Examine the quality of potential purchases; if items look like knock-offs, walk away.
• Be a Playmaker: Choose reliable and verifiable sellers and resellers; find sites that hold vendors responsible for ticket authenticity.
• Rebound: Play it safe and always use a credit card. Major credit issuers typically have zero-liability policies that can help if products are misrepresented or not received.
To avoid getting hit by scams, visit www.bbb.org.