RALEIGH — With college and professional football seasons kicking off in September, the Better Business Bureau of Eastern North Carolina is warning fans about the possibility of paperless ticket scams.

“People are excited about seeing their teams in person this year making them more eager than ever to purchase tickets,” Mallory Wojciechowski, president and CEO of BBB, said in a recent release. “It is important for customers to be aware of the most common ways that scammers have been taking advantage of paperless tickets including ‘selling’ tickets, receiving payment, and then sending fake ticket emails or sending links that lead to getting personal and credit card information.”

The BBB offers the following tips to avoid paperless ticket scams:

  • Consider the source. Try your best to purchase the tickets from the venue/team or the online third party application they are using, such as Ticketmaster. When going on other websites, be sure to know the difference between a professional ticket broker, a legitimate and accredited reseller, a ticket scalper, an unregulated and unlicensed ticket seller and a scammer selling fraudulent tickets.
  • Read the fine print. Understand the terms and conditions and refund policy of the ticket seller. It is also important to note in some cases, venues are only accepting paperless tickets. If that is the case, purchasing a hard copy ticket should be a red flag it may not be legitimate. Also, sellers should disclose seat numbers and reference a seating chart. If tickets are not available immediately, sellers should state an exact date and time when they will be shipped or ready for pick up.
  • Exercise caution when opening emails. Paperless tickets often get delivered via email. Be sure to only open emails from a legitimate ticket seller and hover over the links before clicking on them to see a destination URL.
  • Use payment methods that come with protection. Use a credit card so you have some recourse if the tickets are not as promised. Debit cards, wire transfer or cash transactions are risky and if the tickets are fraudulent, you won’t be able to get your money back.

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