Because of the long waiting list to buy Green Bay Packers tickets, desperate fans are often conned by rip-off artists advertising on line and in classified ads.
For example, someone on E-bay is offering his rights to purchase season tickets for $6000 (tickets not included)! He claims that the Packers Ticket office approves of the transaction, but this isn't true. If fact, the guy isn't even a season ticket holder.
In another Internet scam, instant messaging is being used to solicit Packers fans while they are on line in chat rooms. Fans are solicited to purchase Packers season tickets at or below cost and are requested to send payment prior to receiving tickets.
"In addition to these rip-offs," says Janet Jenkins, administrator of Trade and Consumer Protection, "fans are also misled by a number of websites which illegally use the Green Bay Packers and Lambeau Field names, which are trademarks of the Green Bay Packers.
"Working with the Green Bay Packers, Consumer Protection has investigated a number of complaints and has gotten ticket purchases refunded in many cases. However victims also lost money on hotel and airline reservations when the tickets didn't materialize."
"We run into fans from all over the country who fall prey to unscrupulous vendors, especially over the Internet," says Dennis Garrity, Vice President of the NATB (National Association of Ticket Brokers) and President of PACKER FAN TOURS.
- Before paying any money or giving a credit card number, determine if the seller actually has tickets.
- Ask the seller to fax you a copy of the tickets being sold.
- Where possible, pay by credit card to protect your rights in disputes.
- Don't give your credit card number on the phone unless you know whom you are dealing with.
- Try to deal only with "official" sources for tickets and tours, those endorsed by the team. Deal only with ticket agencies which are members of the NATB, where members are carefully screened and consumer protection mechanisms exist.
- Don't get on the plane without having official game tickets.
- Verify that the travel agent you are dealing with is a member of a trade association such as the American Society of Travel Agents.
For more information, call the toll free hotline of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection: 1-800-422-7128.