Consumer trust is a major issue in the secondary ticketing world, and stories like those coming out of Minneapolis related to substantial counterfeit tickets at the Super Bowl earlier this month are a big reason why. On Tuesday it was announced by law enforcement officials that 154 counterfeit tickets were found on Super Bowl Sunday, February 4, 2018. According to Minneapolis police Lt. Kim Lund, this number is seven times more than the number of bogus tickets found at last year’s Super Bowl.
In total. 19 people were arrested for the distribution of fake tickets. The purchasers of these fake tickets spent $400-$5000 and sadly did not find out they were fake until arriving at U.S. Bank Stadium. Among those scammed football fans were Chris DiSimone and his son. According to USA Today, DiSimone purchased two tickets for $2,800 off of Craigslist four days before the Super Bowl – then two more for $1,500 the day of, right after kickoff. Both pairs of tickets were paid for in cash.
John McFarlane, a ticket broker and founder of Dallas-based JMAC Tickets, told USA Today, “Best ‘Binkers’ (fake tickets) I’ve seen in years.” This is another good illustration of how consumers need to have ticket resale businesses that they can trust and offer guarantees. Websites like TicketNetwork, StubHub, Vivid Seats and Ticket Club offer consumers the most important thing when making an investment in any live event ticket – particularly an eye-waterlingly expensive one like the Super Bowl – a legitimate business to turn to if things aren’t what they seem.
Beyond being consistently the most expensive ticket of the year, the Super Bowl is also the worst place to find yourself with fake tickets – there’s simply no option to help the aggrieved customer out.
“There were no extra tickets — there was no way that we could get somebody into the Super Bowl if they had a counterfeit ticket, period,” said Shawn Neudauer, Department of Homeland Security public affairs officer, quoted in the West Central Tribune. “It’s especially heartbreaking when there’s kids involved and there were several families that came in from out of state.”
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) recommends a few tips when buying from a ticket reseller. They urge customers to know the difference between a professional ticket broker who is an accredited reseller and a ticket scalper who is an unlicensed ticket seller. They also highly recommend not paying in cash. Paying with a credit card provides protection and can be used as a resource if the tickets are not as listed.