September 18, 2017

Football scams for football fans

While fans are gearing up for the start of the football season, so are ticket scammers. We’ve written before about them – the thinly veiled white label sites that artificially manipulate the market and cheat fans out of good seats and fair prices. For football season, the sites are using deceptive URLs to pose as official stadium box offices or team-affiliated sties. Not only is this in direct violation of FTC regulations, but it takes traffic away from legitimate direct sales and from the venue and team’s preferred ticket resale networks. What’s more, Senators Corey Booker (D-NJ) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) just put out a letter imploring the FTC to take action against these sites. 

At StubHub, we believe that everyone – from lifelong fans to first-time fans – should be given the option to buy tickets at a fair price and from a company that’s honest with them. We spoke with an expert at NetChoice, an ecommerce consumer advocacy coalition we’re a part of, and asked: how can you protect yourself from scams this football season? 

Here's 5 quick tips:

  1. Don’t rely on the URL alone – often these sites use stadium names in their address to trick users into clicking. Look for the most direct link: for example, metlifestadium.com is a legitimate site, metlifestadium.ticketoffices.com is not.
  2. Search smart! If you look closely at the first few Google results, you’ll see they are demarcated as ads. These tend to be sponsored by resale sites, pushing the official box office sites down.
  3. Be specific with your search terms. Search “Giants vs. Patriots tickets” instead of “Giants tickets” or “Metlife stadium tickets”. These sites typically capitalize on general ad words. 
  4. Once you’re on the site look for official NFL language and branding. Don’t see it? It’s probably a scam.
  5. Trust your gut! Does the site look generic? Do the prices seem too high? Is something just not quite right? Stay away!