Scammers target big sports game ticket buyers

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SEATTLE, WA - JANUARY 11: Head coach Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks celebrates with running back Marshawn Lynch #24 after Lynch scores a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Divisional Playoff Game at CenturyLink Field on January 11, 2014 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

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by Pat Dooris, KGW Staff

kgw.com

Posted on January 13, 2014 at 7:34 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 14 at 6:56 AM

PORTLAND -- The Oregon Department of Justice and the Oregon Better Business Bureau warned consumers against online ticket scams.

With Seattle's big win yesterday, Seahawk fever hit a new level and so did the demand for tickets.

The team sold out its 6,000 available seats in moments today. Officials said the sales would bring out scammers.

“They'll sniff out an opportunity to rip people off at any chance they can,” said Kate Medema from the Oregon Department of Justice.

Buz Quinlan bought Seahawk tickets online for a game a few weeks ago. His were real. But he knows there is a risk.

“We talked about it at the office this morning and I’ve heard about it from other people, so it’s obviously fairly prevalent out there. It is going on,” Quinlan said.

The experts agree.

To avoid getting scammed, Oregon DOJ said consumers shouldn't buy tickets at the last minute. Those who do put themselves in a vulnerable situation when they're rushed.

They suggested fans either know the seller or buy from big reputable sites.

Putting it on a credit card could also protect from scams because often, the credit card company will fight the battle. And remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

“When you're looking at sites like Craigslist or other web sites that are offering deals at very cheap tickets you want to be wary of that,” said Katherine Kisel from the Oregon Better Business Bureau.

The danger doesn’t end with the football game. The way the Trailblazers are playing, their tickets could become very hot commodities by the end of the season. Same with tickets to the sold out, 7 p.m. show of comedian Jerry Seinfeld who is in Portland January 24th.

If you want to see the game or show bad enough, there will always be someone to sell you a ticket. Just make sure sure it’s the real deal.

“Generally speaking, scammers are opportunists. They will take advantage of any event,” said Kate Medema from the Oregon DOJ.

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