How to avoid Super Bowl scams

Some fans will do anything and spend nearly any amount of money to get tickets to see their team play in the Super Bowl. That passion, however, can backfire as there are unscrupulous people out there who would prey on the hopes and dreams of dedicated fans who simply want to support their teams.

One widely reported story found on the San Jose Mercury News website was cited by Miranda Perry, a staff writer for Scambook.com as an example of how a fan’s willingness to spend big to get into the game can be exploited.

“We saw a story about a woman – a 49ers fan—who found a listing for four tickets on Craigslist. She sent $5,900 via wire transfer to the seller who sent her a Fedex package which contained a picture of quarterbacks Colin Kaepernick and Joe Flacco with a message underneath that read: “Enjoy the game!!!! Go Ravens!!! . LOL.”

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The story ended well for that woman, Sharon Osgood of Hayward, Calif., as, according to Perry, Ticketmaster stepped in and offered the scammed woman four tickets to the game. Not all stories of people being scammed have a positive resolution however and righting consumer wrongs is part of the mission for Scambook.

“Scambook is a complaint resolution platform,” said Perry. “If you are a consumer who feels a business has done you wrong and you can’t get through to customer service, we take your complaint to the business and we put it through for you. “

According to a running ticker on Scambook.com, the company has resolved more than $9 million in disputes for consumers. Fake tickets are not the only scam out there, and Perry advises that consumers be careful when buying Super Bowl merchandise.

“You have to watch out for fake merchandise,” Perry said.

She advises people to use common sense before buying any merchandise.

“If you see a team logo and the colors are slightly off, it’s probably a fake. Also, look at the price point. If a legitimate jersey is $60 and you see one on the street for $10, chances are you are buying a counterfeit,” she said.

Perry suggested that people be especially diligent when it comes to things they are overly emotional about, such as sports teams. Scammers, she explained, are extremely smart and even the smartest people can be fooled.

“When you’re really passionate about your team, you may not notice some of the red flags,” she said, “and anyone can be scammed.”