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How to avoid scams when buying NFL tickets

 Landover, MD - Football season is officially here, which means it's time to pull out your box of collectible NFL apparel and gear. If you've found that your favorite jersey is ripped or worn, why not treat yourself to a new one to wear and support your favorite team all season long? Whether you're buying apparel or tickets, however, it's important to stay diligent and make sure you're making your purchases from a reputable provider. Don't believe us? Take it up with the Better Business Bureau:

"In 2017, the Better Business Bureau received more than 350,000 inquiries and 2,700 complaints nationwide about event ticket sales. The most common complaints were issues with refunds and exchanges, followed by poor customer service, as well as guarantees or warranties not being met...Unfortunately, scammers also target fans buying team apparel, as BBB received almost 900 counterfeit product scams last year alone," writes the Batesville Herald-Tribune.

With that in mind, here's a quick guide to help you avoid scams and purchase all the NFL gear and tickets you need this season.

Assess Site Reputability
There's no reason to question a reliable site like Amazon, but when it comes to smaller businesses, there may be reason for suspicion. Up to 80 percent of IT budgets are used for routine maintenance, but smaller business may not have the budgets needed for secure protection. Experts say it's important to look for the 's' in 'https' at the beginning of the web page's URL. Otherwise, you could be putting your personal information at risk -- potentially even your address and credit card information.

If It Sounds Too Good to Be True, It Probably Is
Most people have come to realize this by now, but if something sounds like it's just too good to be true, then it probably is. On average, consumers are exposed to 3,000 ads and promotional messages every day, so whether you see an ad with a crazy discount on a one of a kind "signed" piece of memorabilia, or you get an email claiming you've won a pair of free tickets to the Superbowl, take it with the world's biggest grain of salt. More often than not, these 'offers' are just scams waiting to take advantage of their target. Don't take the bait!

Know How to Take Action
As mentioned, some sites and brands may be more reputable than others. You'll probably have no trouble buying from Wilson Sporting Goods, which provides the NFL with almost 25,000 official game footballs every season. But if you do have any doubts about a site's reliability, just check its 'score' on the Better Business Bureau website. You'll be able to see their complaint history, current rating, and reviews from previous customers. This is a rule of thumb that applies when you're buying NFL apparel or tickets. It's especially important if you're buying through a reseller. If, at any point, you think you've become victim to a scam, report it promptly to the Better Business Bureau scam tracker, which can be found at bbb.org/scamtracker. You can also call 317- 488-2222 or email info@indybbb.org. Don't let the scam go unreported!

Scammers may never disappear entirely. But informing yourself of the potential risks that come with purchasing NFL tickets and gear can help you play the best defense possible.

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