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Beware Of Super Bowl Ticket Fraud - Some Examples:
January 25, 2005, Jacksonville, Florida, Super Bowl XXXIX
Air travelers going to Super Bowl XXXIX this year should be aware that not all tour packages include a ticket to the Feb. 6 game in Jacksonville, Florida.
U.S. Department of Transportation consumer protection rules require any operator marketing a Super Bowl air package that is promoted as including game tickets to have the tickets in hand or have a written contract for the tickets before the operator does any advertising.
The Department cautions travelers that if a game ticket is not specifically mentioned in newspaper advertisements or other solicitation material or listed as a tour feature, the ticket is probably not included.
Starting in December 1994, the rules covering Super Bowl tours were extended to all air tours organized for the purpose of attending any sporting, social, religious, educational, cultural, political or other event of a special nature and limited duration, and for which admission to the event is advertised as part of the tour.
The Department's Aviation Consumer Protection Division has been monitoring Super Bowl activities covered by these rules, as well as issuing consumer advisories, for over a decade. There has been little evidence of misrepresentation by Super Bowl air tour operators in recent years concerning the availability and inclusion in the tour package of game tickets or other features.
Nevertheless, before purchasing a Super Bowl package, consumers should:
- Read carefully the tour brochure and any other solicitation material;
- Consider paying by credit card, where possible, which provides some degree of protection under fair credit practice laws.
The Department's "Truth in Ticketing" rules state that if a tour was described as including a game ticket and you do not receive one, you are entitled to a full refund of the entire package price upon your return.
If the tour operator increases your price by more than 10 percent beyond what you originally agreed to pay, you have the right to cancel and receive a full refund. No price increases are permitted during the last ten days before departure.
February 5, 2006, Detroit Michigan, Super Bowl XXXX
Local Couple Victimized By Super Bowl Ticket Scam
Going to the Super Bowl would be a dream come true for people who could find an affordable ticket.
Super Bowl tickets come with a warning.
KDKA consumer editor Yvonne Zanos reports that people could end up paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars and never get inside the stadium.
Some fans have already been victimized by ticket scams.
The Super Bowl ticket scam is hitting Steelers fans hard. For one cranberry couple, their dream of being there to watch the Steelers in the Super Bowl is over.
When it comes to computers, Teri Kunes is something of an expert.
â" This is what I do for a living,"Kunes said. "I didn't think I would fall for a computer scam if I were going to fall for anything."
But Kunes did fall - hard.
"Sunday morning we woke up excited" Kunes said. "We knew the Steelers were going to win before they ever went. We wanted to beat the rush on the Super Bowl tickets."
Kunes went to eBay and began to shop. She found two Steelers tickets on an auction that had just begun and clicked on "Buy It Now". She accepted a price of $1,550.
"We get back a very official looking eBay confirmation giving us a transaction number, telling us the payment pending," Kunes said.
Kunes clicked on the link for Western Union, followed the instructions and wired her money.
Her brother-in-law in Maryland found a similar deal, but when he tried to wire $3,000, western union stopped him, sensing a scam.
â€œWe both mail our e-mail alert to eBay and ask them if it's legit and they sent back shortly later and said no it's not," Kunes said.
After the fact, Kunes found out it was a "Buy It Now" link that took her to someone's personal e-mail that should have been a dead giveaway that this was a scam.
"My biggest concern now is no one else out there - especially the Steelers fans, get taken advantage of like we were," Kunes said.
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