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Don’t Fall for Scams this Super Bowl
Football season is swiftly coming to a close with the big game on the horizon. You might be feeling the leftover sting from some devastating playoff losses, but Patriots and Rams fans are still pumped about their conference championships.
For those who really want to witness the action first-hand, Super Bowl tickets and gear can mean handing over quite a bit of cash. If you’re on the look-out for a killer deal on tickets or merchandise, a word of warning: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
The Super Bowl draws scammers year after year, pushing counterfeit tickets and merchandise on unsuspecting fans. Paula Fleming of the Better Business Bureau says, “…the Super Bowl has always been an event where scams are recurrent. With so many fans looking to support their team, it’s the perfect money-making opportunity for scammers.”
And while the Super Bowl accounts for the highest level of counterfeiting, scammers are apt to target the playoffs and games throughout the season as well. Before the NFC Championship game between the Saints and the Rams, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry urged game-goers to be cautious when searching for tickets. In a press release, he stated, “Consumers lose millions of dollars each year through con artists selling phony tickets or through illegal sales, so I strongly encourage Saints fans to take precaution when purchasing tickets to this week’s game.”
These scams are far-reaching and can impact anyone. With everything being a click away, fans are likely to purchase gear or tickets online. However, many aren’t so lucky, and end up with fake merchandise or nothing at all. In 2017, officials seized more than 260,000 counterfeited items valued at $20 million; in 2016, it was 450,000 items valued at $39 million.
So, whether you’re hunkering down for the big game in front of your TV or trekking to the Mercedes Benz dome in Atlanta to watch the Patriots take on the Rams, make sure you #ShopSafe this Super Bowl with these tips:
Even if your tickets meet the mark and get you past the turnstile, they could still be phony – counterfeiters often duplicate tickets, putting two of the same into the hands of two people.
Similar rules apply to merchandise. Some easy to spot red flags are misspellings, absence of the NFL logo, and low quality fabrics.
This Super Bowl, #ShopSafe and avoid scams.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Frank Cullen is the vice president of Domestic policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Innovation Policy Center.