Nonprofit: Be Wary of NFC Ticket Scams

More than 70,000 fans are set to be at Candlestick Park on Saturday evening for a NFC Divisional game, but according to the team only a limited number of tickets will go on sale Monday morning.

And a nonprofit group is now warning would-be buyers to beware of scams.

The San Francisco 49ers, the 2012 NFC West champion, will play host to the Green Bay Packers on Saturday at 5 p.m. The Green Bay Packers defeated the Minnesota Vikings in the Wild-Card round. If the 49ers win this weekend, they could host the NFC Championship Game on Jan. 20.

All 49ers home games since 1981 have been sellouts and while fans might expect the experience of a lifetime as the team begins its postseason journey toward the Super Bowl – it could also be a major disappointment for fans receiving tickets as gifts, according to the Fan Freedom Project.

More than a week ago, the group cited, the Houston Texans hosted the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Wild-Card round, the first round of the playoffs. Tickets for the game went on sale the previous Wednesday at 10 a.m. and tickets priced at $60 were said to be gone in a matter of two to three minutes, according to fans attempting to purchase online.

As the 49ers ticket availability approaches, to help consumers avoid purchasing fraudulent tickets or even genuine tickets that aren’t transferable, FFP advises consumers to:

  •  Be prepared to pay additional fees: Unlike airline fares, now required by law to include all taxes and additional fees in the advertised price of a ticket, concert and sporting events tickets are not required to include fees upfront, leaving many consumers shocked at the final price of a ticket.
  •  Use reliable sellers: Beware of fly-by-night ticket sellers. If you’re unsure about a company, check with the Better Business Bureau. If you’re buying from a ticket broker, make sure they are members of the National Association of Ticket Brokers, whose Code of Ethics requires members to adhere to basic consumer protections.
  •  Pay attention to URLs: Check any website’s URL to ensure that you don’t get duped by an imposter. Remember, even if a website looks like the official site, it may be bogus.
  •  Check your ticket vendor’s guarantee policy: For example, websites like Stub Hub, TicketsNow, Ace Tickets and All-Shows guarantee every ticket sold on their sites and will replace them or refund money to consumers if they receive wrong or invalid tickets, or if an event is cancelled. Craigslist and other online classifieds sites do not offer such guarantees; it’s “buyer beware” when shopping there.
  • Buy with a credit card: Regardless of where you buy tickets, be sure to use a credit card so you can dispute any unfair or unauthorized charges. Before entering your credit card information online, be sure the site has “https://” at the beginning of the website address. This means the site is encrypted and safer for use.

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