Chicago Bears fans looking to score tickets to this weekend’s big game at Soldier Field may need to play a little defense.
The Better Business Bureau has warned of scammers “blitzing the internet with fake tickets and preparing to unbox and unload shoddy merchandise.”
"Fan enthusiasm for a team's performance is exactly what scammers are looking for, as their passion often gets in the way of being a smart consumer," Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois, said in a statement. "Counterfeiters selling fake tickets and poor quality, unlicensed merchandise are two ways that bad guys make money from other people's good times."
The Bears are also warning their fans that tickets and parking passes for home games should only be purchased from “verified sources.”
“Purchases through unauthorized third-party sources cannot be verified and may turn out to be counterfeit or tickets/parking not valid for entry,” the team said in a statement. “Fans should avoid making ticket or parking purchases from Craigslist sellers, as many counterfeits are coming from this source.”
Parking lots for the game open at 11:40 a.m. Sunday and close at 9 p.m. Gates open at 1:40 p.m.
Before fans purchase tickets from third-party sites, the BBB suggests taking some extra precautions:
• Don't get "sacked" with too-good-to-be-true deals. One-time good deals should be red flags to anyone anxious for a ticket. Illegal ticket sellers know excitement about the event too often gets in the way of common sense and smart buying.
• Score tickets from a reputable ticket brokers. There are established businesses that have been selling legitimate tickets for years. Many are Accredited Businesses with the BBB. Check business ratings free here.
• If purchasing merchandise online, buy from licensed sites. Lookout for grammatical errors or broken English in the description. This could indicate an overseas company, and these companies are among the principal culprits in producing counterfeit goods.
• Use a credit card if possible. Using a credit card allows you to dispute the charge.
• Blow the whistle on scammers. Report suspected scams even if you weren't victimized to the BBB Scamtracker.