COLUMBUS - Attorney General Mike DeWine is warning fans to watch out for scams as they look for opening day tickets for the Indians and the Reds.
“Some scam artists use popular events to rip off consumers,” Attorney General DeWine said. “With Opening Day and other big-ticket events coming up, we’re encouraging people to be careful, especially with individual sellers they meet online. If someone says you have to pay using a prepaid card or wire transfer, it’s likely a scam.”
In the last year, several complaints have come in about ticket problems. At least nine people have reported losing money in online scams.
Most recently, there was a report involving the 2015 Ohio State/Alabama Sugar Bowl, where two Ohioans lost $800 each when trying to purchase tickets.
“Sometimes when you get excited about these kinds of events, common sense tends to fly out the window, and you act before you think,” said Sue McConnell, Senior Vice President of the Better Business Bureau Serving Greater Cleveland. “Then, later, when you don’t get the tickets you say, ‘oh, what did I just do?’”
The Cleveland Indians organization says it can only help fans with ticket problems when they purchase them through Stubhub.com, which is an MLB partner, or when they buy directly from the organization.
“When you're purchasing from the Cleveland Indians and Indians.com, you're guaranteeing your tickets will allow you through the gates,” Cleveland Indians Senior Director of Communications Curtis Danburg said.
DeWine wants to reinforce these warnings as the Reds home opener (April 6), Indians home opener (April 10), and even the NCAA men’s basketball finals (April 4-6).
Some signs of a scam could be:
-Offers seeming too good to be true. Craigslist and online selling sites could offer tickets for big events at or below face value.
-Demands for wire transfer payment or payments on a prepaid card
-Excuses for selling tickets at a extremely low price
Anyone purchasing tickets should be diligent and make sure the person or website they're buying from is reliable and safe. Read reviews about sites and sellers before committing or giving credit card info.