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The Resource Center Identity Theft & Protection | article

Make Sure You Aren’t the Victim of a “Big Game” Ticket Scam

With only a few days left until Super Bowl XLVII takes New Orleans by storm, you don't have to be a major football fan to get caught up in all of the excitement leading up to the game. Whether you are a fan of the Baltimore Ravens, a die-hard San Francisco 49ers supporter or simply want to see Beyonce's highly anticipated half-time performance, chances are you'd be willing to pay top-dollar to have a seat at Sunday's game.

Even for events that sell out almost immediately, such as the "Big Game", there always seem to be a few tickets available for a hefty price in the final days leading up to it. Although the seats may cost a small fortune, for some football fans no price is too high if it means seeing their favorite team take home a championship trophy.

During high-profile events, scams are a frequent occurrence
Especially in the final days leading up to the "Big Game", many offers for tickets or accommodations may seem to be too good to be true. Sadly, especially the closer it gets to being game day, the likelihood that a bargain-basement deal on tickets will actually get you through the turnstile at the Mercedes Benz Superdome begins to shrink.

According to the NFL, between 100 and 250 fans show up to the game every year, only to be turned away at the gates. After booking expensive flights and accommodations, not to mention buying fraudulent tickets to the game itself, many fans end up missing the game live having wasted hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.

Here's a recent example: Sharon Osgood happily spent $5,900 on a pair of tickets that never showed up. It turns out that what she actually paid for was a scammer's get-rich-quick scheme. But her story does have a happy ending. She'll get to see the game in person anyway, thanks to the six free tickets she has received from Ticketmaster CEO Nathan Hubbard and the San Jose Mercury News. She even gets to have breakfast with Troy Aikman, one of the NFL's all-time greatest players.

The best protection is to recognize what a real ticket looks like
Michelle Reinen, director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection, warns, "Actual Super Bowl tickets are printed on thick, heavy paper with bar-codes, holograms and raised ink. In addition, the NFL says the tickets include heat sensitive logos that disappear with the touch of a thumb."

Before purchasing tickets to the game, make sure that you actually get a chance to see the tickets in person. Although someone may be offering to send you the tickets only after you give them money or banking information, these people may just be trying to gain access to your credit or other accounts and potentially steal your identity to afford their own tickets.

There are a lot of ways to become a victim of identity theft. Game day shouldn’t be the day it happens to you.