Avoid Big Game Ticket Scams

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-- Championship fever hits  St. Louis this week.   The St. Louis Cardinals home opener and the  St. Louis Blues Stanley Cup playoff bid means sports fans are hyped.   And so are the scammers.   There are some very resourceful people out there.   They  are always looking for creative ways to get your money.  Single game tickets are an option.  But some people will probably turn to season ticket holders trying to resell seats. And there`s a reason for that according to Joe Strohm, VP Ticket sales, St. Louis Cardinals.

'You have 81 games.   And there are season ticket holders who quite frankly it`s impossible to attend 81 games. '

Both the Cardinals and the Blues sell tickets through their websites.   The Cardinals also use Stubhub.    And Blues CEO Mike McCarthy says the Blues use Ticketmaster.

'They have a program called season ticket exchange to guarantee you`re buying seats that a season ticket holder already had access to and purchased.  It's the official way to find some other market beside blues.com.'

Strohm says these ticket partners are your best bet if you can`t find anything on the Cards website.

'We can guarantee people if they buy tickets in the secondary market through Stubhug it is a legitimate ticket.  They will get into the ballpark and they will have a seat. '
Independent brokers like Stephen Gray also resell tickets. Gray started his business

"Sportix" 35 years ago.   'I have a bond on my business, that`s never been used, because every time I tell you I`m going to give you something I give it to you.'

Gray owns season tickets himself and he's developed a relationship with other season ticket holders.  His clients don't want to stand in line or do computer searches.

Its risky buying tickets on the street.   Your only protection is to have the ticket seller go with you to the gate, where the ticket is scanned.  If it clears then you pay.

'There`s plenty of characters out there trying to sell you something that`s not worth what they`re selling.'

Those would be the bogus tickets.  Scammers selling world series tickets were actually arrested.  There are  professionals that can recreate tickets that look very real.

And now that tickets can be printed through a computer, the scammer may print a ticket with the same bar code multiple times.  Unfortunately the first person at the gate gets in and the others leave disappointed.  So Strohm  tells fans to use their sites or the Cardinals official secondary site for buying and selling.

' Anyone who has a ticket can post a ticket for sale on StubHUB.  And if it`s sold, it will deactivate the original bar code and they will print off a new ticket at home.

And the greatest risk is buying sight unseen off craigslist or ebay.   McCarthy says the bad guys are always trying to beat the system.

'Anytime you have an event as popular as a Blues playoff is going to be, people are always looking for angles.'

Support your team.  But steer clear of the rip off.   For tips you`ll find links to information on ticket sales below.

St. Louis Better Business Bureau on Super Bowl Ticket Scams:
http://stlouis.bbb.org/article/football-fan-tells-bbb-ex-sport-group-turned-super-bowl-dream-into-5000-nightmare-32691

Stubhub:
http://www.stubhub.com/

Ticketmaster:
http://www.ticketmaster.com/