New York, NY - September 22, 2014 - Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today issued tips to help consumers avoid potential scams ahead of Derek Jeter’s final Major League Baseball games. With the Yankees shortstop, future Hall of Famer, and five-time world champion set to play what will likely be his final game at Yankee Stadium on Thursday, and his final professional baseball game on Sunday in Boston, news reports are already highlighting the enormous demand for tickets and the potential for counterfeit tickets at these events. Attorney General Schneiderman’s consumer protection tips are intended to help New Yorkers avoid scams when they purchase tickets for major events secondhand.
“Unfortunately, major events tend to attract major scammers,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “As New Yorkers, we are all preparing to give Derek Jeter the warm and heartfelt goodbye he deserves as his Hall of Fame career comes to an end. Consumers who are hoping to honor Jeter in person by attending his final games should take steps to protect themselves from people trying to sell counterfeit tickets and other scammers.
Exercising a few basic precautions can mean the difference between enjoying this momentous occasion and being scammed out of hard-earned money.”
Historically, major sporting events and concerts have seen spikes in scams aimed at duping consumers. For example, when the Super Bowl was played in the New York City area last year, hundreds of fake tickets and tens of millions of dollars in counterfeit merchandise were seized by law enforcement officials.
When purchasing tickets secondhand, consumers should:
- Check to see if the venue, sports team, or event has an official, verified source for buying and reselling tickets. The New York Yankees have an officially sanctioned ticket exchange that can be accessed online here.
- Be wary of tickets that are printed at home. Even though a ticket looks authentic, it may not be. Many venues allow consumers to print tickets from their personal computers. Scammers can sell the same ticket to multiple buyers. Based on the bar code, only the first buyer to show up at the venue will get in. Counterfeiters can also reproduce bar codes – you may get into the venue, but then the real ticket holder shows up and you have to leave. When possible, seek out tickets printed by the venue.
- Be wary of ticket prices that are too good to be true and of any high-pressure sales tactics. Ask questions of the seller to verify that the tickets are legitimate. Ask to see their proof of purchase. If the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.
- Avoid paying for tickets by cash, wire transfer or pre-paid money transfer. If the tickets turn out to be fake, it is highly unlikely you will get your money back. If you pay by credit card or PayPal and the tickets turn out to be fake, you can dispute the charge.
- If you buy from an online ticket broker, check out its reputation first through the Better Business Bureau and consumer complaint sites. Tickets from reputable online brokers may be expensive, but they may come with added protections. For example, some brokers will provide replacement tickets or full refunds if the tickets turn out to be fake.
- Fake ticket scams are more common for popular events, when the demand is high.
If you believe you are the victim of a scam, you can contact Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s Consumer Frauds Bureau by calling 1-800-771-7755 or clicking here.