Press Release

Attorney General Shapiro Warns of Super Bowl LII Scams

January 26, 2018 | Topic: Consumers

AG Shapiro: “Don’t get played by a scam artist” when buying tickets or related merchandise

HARRISBURG — Attorney General Josh Shapiro and his Bureau of Consumer Protection today warned Pennsylvanians to be alert for scams when purchasing Super Bowl LII tickets or other products relating to the event. Consumers and sports fans can be scammed and end up buying fraudulent tickets or products without realizing it.

“Everyone enjoys the Super Bowl, and in Pennsylvania, we are all excited the Philadelphia Eagles are heading to the big game,” Attorney General Josh Shapiro said. “However, big sporting events like the Super Bowl also attract scam artists, and my Bureau of Consumer Protection will protect consumers if something goes wrong with their ticket purchases.”

Attorney General Shapiro and the Office of Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection are asking Pennsylvania consumers to follow these tips when buying Super Bowl tickets or Super Bowl-related merchandise:

Watch the websites you visit. As a consumer, you should not click on banner ads or pop-ups on a legitimate website (like StubHub or Ticketmaster) that may take you to a different website. You lose all protections and guarantees once you leave a legitimate website in favor of discounted tickets or other promises somewhere else.

Be cautious of using search engines to find potential ticket sellers. Less reputable websites offering ticket sales will ramp up advertising before events like the Super Bowl, increasing their website traffic. Stick to websites you are familiar with, and read the URL of the website you visit. Scam artists often make minor changes to an actual website’s URL to bring a false sense of legitimacy to the website – a practice known as spoofing. Look for spelling or grammatical mistakes – a tip-off to fake websites.

Avoid buying tickets from someone you have not met. Don’t buy tickets from a seller you don’t know. Always try to conduct any ticket purchase in a safe, well lit area. Consumers can also search for “Safe Transaction Locations” online. Police stations provide an environment for safe transactions.

Be wary of sellers asking for payment in gift cards, money orders or money transfers, especially over the phone. Consumers should use their credit cards when possible to protect themselves from scammers and fraud.

In 2014, the Bureau of Consumer Protection intervened on behalf of a Pennsylvania consumer who purchased Super Bowl tickets online by credit card – but never received them. The consumer paid $12,634, but the credit card company refused to reverse the charges. The Bureau of Consumer Protection fought for the consumer, and got the credit card company to reverse the charges.

“Enjoy the Super Bowl by all means, but don’t get ‘played’ by a scam artist,” Attorney General Shapiro said. “Fly Eagles Fly! On the road to victory!”

Pennsylvanians who believe they have been victims of a Super Bowl ticket, travel service or merchandise scam can file a complaint with the Office of Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection at 800-441-2555 or scams@attorneygeneral.gov.

The Bureau of Consumer Protection also advises that if you have made an unfulfilled purchase with your credit card, to contact the credit card company and dispute the charge immediately.

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