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BBB warns about March Madness ticket scams

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ROANOKE, Va. (WSET) -- With the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament set to start Tuesday, ticket scams could ruin the day of many college basketball fans in the coming weeks.

With five Virginia-based teams (Virginia, Old Dominion, Liberty, Virginia Tech, and VCU) in the tournament fans in the Commonwealth will need to be on guard.

The Better Business Bureau of Western Virginia put together some tips so you don't get scammed.

-Purchase from the venue whenever possible. This is the best way to know your tickets are real.

-Consider your source. Know the difference between a professional ticket broker (a legitimate reseller), a ticket scalper, and a scammer selling scam tickets.

-Check out the seller/broker. Look them up on to learn what other customers have experienced. Check to see if they are a member of the National Association of Ticket Brokers (NATB). While not all legitimate resellers are NATB members, those who are offer a 200% purchase guarantee on tickets. Look up the seller on to confirm you are buying from an NATB-member resale company.

-Buy only from trusted vendors. Buy only from vendors you know and trust. Online, look for the lock symbol in the web address to indicate a secure purchasing system. Don’t click through from emails or online ads; a common ticket scam trick is to create a web address that is similar to a well-known company.

-Know the refund policy. You should only purchase tickets from a ticket reseller that provides clear details about the purchase. Sellers should disclose to the purchaser, prior to purchase, the location of the seats represented by the tickets, and if the tickets are not available for immediate access to the purchaser, disclose when the tickets will ship or be available for pick up.

-Use payment methods that come with protection. Always use a credit card so you have some recourse if the tickets are not as promised. Debit cards, wire transfer or cash transactions are risky; if the tickets are fake, you won’t be able to get your money back.

-Be cautious regarding advertisements. When you search the web for online tickets, advertisements for cheap tickets will often appear. Use good judgment; some of these ads are going to be ticket scams, especially if the prices are low.

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