March Madness Scam Dunk
COLUMBIA - March Madness, a month that NCAA basketball players look forward to all year... and ticket scammers?
According to the Columbia Branch Manager of the Better Business Bureau, Mike Odneal, "We get thousands of complaints around this time every year about scams." Typically large sporting events such as the Super Bowl, World Series or even the NCAA basketball tournament drive in larger numbers of scammed ticketing.
The Missouri Tigers are the No. 2 seed in the NCAA regional tournament and play Norfolk State at 3:40 pm Friday in Omaha, Nebraska for their first regional match up. This season, the men's basketball team finished with a 30-4 record and won the Big 12 title over Baylor 90-75. Clearly this season has led to plenty of anticipation for the postseason. Something so-called "internet scammers" will be banking on.
"With the Tigers doing so well this season there's a lot of emotion going into ticket purchasing. I recommend people take a step back, breathe and make sure you research your source" said Odneal.
Typically a scam entails transferring money to a person who should give you a ticket. The scammer would either take the money and run or give you a faulty ticket such as a duplicate or a fake.
Another issue leading fans to rush for a ticket: too much demand for MU's limited supply. "The University is alloted 550 tickets, for the players families, the coaches requests, high paying donors and then to the students, which to be honest, does not leave much" said Assistant Director of Strategic Communications/Media at MU Athletics Shawn Davis.
Odneal assures there are ways to get a ticket but you have to be smart about it. Some recommendations:
-Be careful of ads that make a package deal look better.
-Do your research on sites. Make sure they are highly accredited.
-Use a credit card. This way you get assistance with your credit card company.
-Be very CAREFUL if you pay with cash. Make sure you trust the person, and have their contact information.
-You can use the Better Business Bureau website to assist you with accreditation of a company or site.