Attorney General’s office warns about Big 10 ticket scams

By Dionte Coleman
TheStatehouseFile.com

INDIANAPOLIS—Tickets for the Big 10 Football Championship are in demand this weekend when the sixth-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes play the 21stranked Northwestern Wildcats at Lucas Oil Stadium.

But the Indiana Attorney General’s office is cautioning fans to be careful about where they buy their tickets.

Betsy DeNardi, director and chief counsel of Consumer Protection at Office of the Indiana Attorney General, warns the public about buying tickets to sporting events from people on the street. Photo by Dionte Coleman, TheStatehouseFile.com.

This will be the seventh year that Indianapolis has hosted the Big 10 game, which draws lots of out-of-town fans to the city. And it can be a field day for scammers.

“Anytime there’s a large event like the Big 10 Championship there are always individuals out there that try to get money from unsuspecting individuals and the way to do that is to try to sell tickets that aren’t real,” said Betsy DeNardi, director and chief counsel of Consumer Protection for the Indiana Attorney General’s office.

DeNardi said the best way to not be a target at these events is to purchase tickets in advance from authorized sources. It lowers the likelihood of a person getting scammed.

Anyone buying tickets for any event large or small and it’s not the original seller, go to a trusted secondary market, DeNardi said.

Legitimate vendors for the Big 10 Championship game are Lucas Oil Stadium, Ticketmaster and the Big 10 website. Secondary vendors could be stubhub, vividseats, seatgeek or websites that offer a guarantee that the ticket is legitimate.

DeNardi said the biggest risk is buying tickets person-to-person on the street because there is no guarantee that the tickets are legitimate.

Anyone planning to engage in person-to-person buying should at least take steps to minimize risks of fraudulent transactions. Consumers should:

  • Double check to make sure tickets have correct times and dates.
  • Compare the appearance of tickets you are attempting to buy, if possible, with tickets you know to be authentic. 
  • Obtain the names and phone numbers of ticket sellers, and call those numbers before exchanging any money to ensure they are valid. (A seller refusing to share such information or providing a fake phone number could be attempting to perpetrate a scam.)

DeNardi said that if a complaint is filed her office will be able to conduct an investigation to possibly locate the person and get the money back.

People who believe they have been the victim of any type of scam or attempted scam, the Office of the Attorney General can help. Go to indianaconsumer.com or call 1-800-382-5516 to file a complaint.

Dionte Coleman is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.

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