The arrival of the March Madness season brings more opportunities for scammers to commit fouls against basketball fans. Especially through the ticket-purchasing process, your Better Business Bureau (BBB) says crooks would love to dunk your money into their wallets.
Some of the same advice BBB offered weeks ago for Super Bowl fans stands true for March Madness basketball fans as well, so here are a few repeated reminders:
• Know who you’re getting your tickets from. A professional ticket broker is a legitimate reseller. A scalper is unregulated and can be risky.
• Scammers can try to sell you fake tickets online. (Faked websites may have misspellings and grammar errors.)
• Go to bbb.org to read customer reviews of sellers and brokers.
• Visit VerifiedTicketSource.com to see if they are a member of the National Association of Ticket Brokers. (They provide a 200% purchase price guarantee.)
• Get clear details of the seat location, shipping of tickets and refund policy.
• Credit cards are the safest way to pay. All other methods are high risk.
• Does the deal sound too good to be true? Then it is.
Another timely threat in the headlines
Catching March Madness is a fun pastime this time of year. A more serious consideration is the Coronavirus which certainly none of us wants to encounter. Unfortunately, the public’s concern has caught the attention of crooks and scammers out to exploit your fears. As we strive to protect our loved ones, there are specific scams that have come to BBB’s attention. Watch out for these:
• The mask scam. Even though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says we should not rely on masks, people are seeking them out. They have become scarce and scammers are selling inferior products online. These sites may be trying to steal your personal and credit card information. They may, in fact, send you nothing at all. Avoid them and avoid masks in general. Visit CDC.gov for FAQs about Coronavirus. Leave the masks for healthcare professionals.
• Fraudulent remedies. There is no “miracle cure” at the present time. Check with your doctor if you are tempted to purchase any health product related to the current virus concerns. Visit the FDA’s website for “Tip-offs to Rip-offs” regarding health fraud scams.
During a public health emergency such as the current one, it’s especially important that anyone who encounters a health-related scam report it. BBB urges you to report scams at BBB.org/ScamTracker. By doing this you help prevent others from getting ripped off at a crucial time when defenses may be lowered. During past viral outbreaks such as the Ebola one, many unapproved and fraudulent products went onto the market. Scammers are sure to be doing the same with the Coronavirus.
If you have questions or concerns about scamming attempts and fraudulent products, contact your BBB at 800-856-2417 or visit the website bbb.org.