Calgary

Looking to buy Grey Cup tickets? Watch out for scammers

The Better Business Bureau is advising football fans to watch out for scammers when buying tickets for the 107th Grey Cup game this Sunday in Calgary.

Better Business Bureau says ticket fraud increases during major sporting events

McMahon Stadium is nearly sold out for Sunday's Grey Cup, but be careful if buying re-sell tickets, warns the Better Business Bureau. Above: The Calgary Stampeders celebrate after winning the CFL championship game last November. (Julie Prejet/Radio Canada)

The Better Business Bureau is advising football fans to watch out for scammers when buying tickets for the 107th Grey Cup game in Calgary.

Scammers will often sell fake tickets that replicate the look of legitimate tickets or re-sell the same ticket to multiple buyers, the BBB said in a release.

Shawna-Kay Thomas, communications specialist with the Calgary bureau, says some scammers have machinery that generates fake tickets and there is no way to tell until you show up to the venue.

"You want to be careful because scammers are online and they may reach out to you sending a ticket and give a fake identity, fake name and fake telephone number," Thomas said Wednesday.

"You have no way of getting back in touch with them because the information they provided to the seller is not real."

The bureau warns consumers that in most cases, scammers will ask for payment via wire money transfer, and once payment is received, communication stops and tickets are nowhere to be found.

"We ask that you go to the venue directly or the organizers to get your ticket.… You want to use a secure method of payment. So your credit card is secure, and if something happens and you're ripped off, usually the credit card company has some recourse for that," she said.

On the flip side, if you're selling Grey Cup tickets, the BBB suggests making sure the money is in your account before giving access.

"You always have people who are ripping others off in these times," said Thomas.

Tips for buying Grey Cup tickets

The BBB says to stay safe from ticket scams, use the following tips:

  • Purchase from the venue/organizers whenever possible: Many official ticket sales agents now offer secondary sales options as well.
  • Use secure payment methods: Use a credit card so you have some recourse if the tickets are not as promised. Money transfer, debit cards and cash transactions are risky, and if your tickets are not valid, there is no recourse.
  • Be wary when searching for deals online: When you search the web for tickets, ads supposedly offering cheap tickets will try to grab your attention and often lead to bogus websites. A common ticket con is to create a website that looks similar to a well-known ticket seller, capture your financial information and then cut off contact with you.
  • Research the vendor before buying: Search a website name on bbb.org to help verify the company's legitimacy. Check to see if they are a member of the Canadian Ticket Brokers Association. 
  • Never wire money to a stranger: Money transfers are hard to trace and once the money is gone, it's gone for good. Pay with a credit card so you will have some recourse in case something goes wrong. 

With files from Dave Gilson

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