MADISON â€“ Several die-hard Green Bay Packer fans are in search of tickets for Super Bowl XLV. The NFL expects to sell more than 90,000 tickets for the February 6th matchup between the Packers and Steelers in Arlington, Texas. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection strongly encourages Packer backers to buy tickets from businesses or people they trust.
â€œConsumers need to be especially cautious when purchasing tickets from an online third-party,â€ said Michelle Reinen, Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection. â€œFraudulent ticket offers often appear on websites like Craigslist and in other classified advertisements.â€
According to the NFL, in recent years, between 100 and 250 football fans have shown up to Super Bowl games with bogus tickets. While these fans experienced the disappointment of missing the game â€“ they also took a big hit to their pocketbooks when you consider the price they paid for their tickets, lodging and travel.
â€œBefore hopping on a plane for Texas, make sure you have the official game tickets in your procession,â€ added Reinen. â€œLegitimate Super Bowl tickets are printed on thick, heavy paper with barcodes, holograms and raised ink. In addition, the NFL says the tickets include heat sensitive logos that disappear with the touch of a thumb.â€
Consumer Protection offers these tips to avoid becomingÂ a victim of Super Bowl ticket fraud:
- Ask the seller to e-mail or fax you a copy of the actual tickets before making a payment.Â Make sure theÂ ticket information includes the correct date, time, location and seating details.
- Do not give out your credit card number, online or over the phone, unless you are sure the seller is legitimate.
- Use a credit card rather than cash, check or debit card to purchase tickets since it may provide some protection if you do not receive the tickets.
- Contact the Bureau of Consumer Protection to determine if complaints have been filed against the business, and check the business with the Wisconsin Better Business Bureau (1-800-273-1002).
- Try to deal with “official” sources for tickets such as those endorsed by the team or those that are members of the National Association of Ticket Brokers. These businesses carefully screen ticket offers and take care of other measures to protect consumers from ticket fraud.
- Verify that any travel agent with whom you are dealing is a member of a recognized trade association, such as the American Society of Travel Agents.
â€œThese days, with all the scams out there, we find ourselves repeating aÂ common phrase when it comes to consumer protection,â€ concluded Reinen.Â â€œIf an offer seems too good to be true â€“ it probably is.â€
For more consumer information, or to file a consumer complaint, visit the Bureau of Consumer Protection’s website at datcp.wisconsin.gov; via e-mail at DATCPHotline@wisconsin.gov; or call toll-free at 1-800-422-7128.