Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has issued a warning for consumers to watch for scams as they search for tickets to upcoming sporting events like Cavaliers playoffs.
"If someone says you have to pay using a prepaid card or wire transfer, it's likely a scam," said DeWine.
In the past year, the Ohio Attorney General's Office has received dozens of complaints involving tickets. At least nine consumers have reported losing hundreds of dollars to online ticket scams involving sporting events or concerts.
Signs of a ticket scam include:
• Offers that seem too good to be true. Sellers, especially on Craigslist or other online marketplaces, may offer tickets at face value (or below) for events that are sold out or highly in demand, but these offers may turn out to be scams.
• Demands for payment via wire transfer or prepaid card. These are preferred payment methods for scam artists because once payment is provided it is very difficult to recover.
• Excuses for selling tickets at a low price. Some ticket scammers falsely claim to be in the military or traveling due to a death in the family to explain why they are selling tickets for a good price. In reality, the tickets do not exist.
To avoid scams, Attorney General DeWine offered consumers the following tips:
• Check with the event organizer, promoter, or venue to learn how and when tickets are being sold. Be careful when dealing with individual third-party sellers who are not associated with the event.
• Read what others say about a seller. Search online using the seller's name, username, email address, and/or telephone number along with words like "scam," "fake tickets," or "counterfeit tickets." To protect yourself, only buy from legitimate businesses and websites, not individual sellers you do not know.
• Ask to see the front and back of a ticket. Make sure both sides appear real. Be aware that some ticket scammers use falsified photos, logos, or trademarks to make their offers appear legitimate.
• Consider using a credit card to make the purchase. If a problem arises, federal regulations may limit your liability. Also, your credit card company may have a buyer protection program. Other payment methods might not have these kinds of protections.
Ohioans can report potential scams by calling the Ohio Attorney General's Office at 800-282-0515 or visiting www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov.