North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper has a message for Super Bowl ticket-seeking Panther fans: Buyer Beware.
"We want the Panthers to keep pounding, but we don't want consumers to get pounded by Super Bowl ticket scams," Cooper said in a written statement. "Some Panthers fans are willing to do nearly anything to get tickets to this year's Super Bowl, and unfortunately scammers know it."
Consumers should be skeptical of any ticket purchase opportunity that advertises low prices. Face value for a ticket ranges from $500 to $1,600, but the secondary ticket marketplace features a significant mark-up. Resale tickets are reportedly going for nearly $5,500 through online ticket vendors like StubHub and SeatGeek.
The game will be played on February 7 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, CA, with the Panthers meeting the Denver Broncos.
To avoid Super Bowl ticket scams, Cooper suggests that North Carolina consumers:
- Avoid too-good-to-be-true prices. Tickets promised at a discount, face value or a little above may sound like a great deal. But be cautious about buying a ticket via social media, Craigslist and similar sites from someone you don't know, especially if the price is far below the going rate.
- Research ticket sellers. Check out ticket vendors and resellers with the Better Business Bureau and search for consumer reviews online.
- Check ticket details. Before you pay for tickets, ask the seller for details like section, row and seat number. Check the information against the venue's seating chart to ensure that the seats are legitimate.
- Be suspicious if asked to pay cash or by money order or wire transfer. Pay for tickets with a credit card when possible to improve your chances of getting your money back if there is a problem.
- Check refund policies. Read a ticket seller's refund policy before you make a purchase. If you have questions about the policy, ask and get answers in writing.
Cooper has experience with sports ticket scams. When the Carolina Hurricanes appeared in the Stanley Cup Finals in 2002, Cooper's office took action against scams and recovered more than 100 tickets.
If you spot a ticket scam, you can report it to the NC Department of Justic (NCDOJ) Consumer Protection Division by calling (877) 5-NO-SCAM.