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With high demand for Stanley Cup tickets, BBB says be wary of scammers

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ST. LOUIS - St. Louis Blues fans basking in the glow of a glorious season will have to pay big money to see their team play in the Stanley Cup Final. The Better Business Bureau is warning fans to be wary of scammers.

One fan said he tried to buy tickets on Craigslist for Wednesday night’s Western Conference clincher. The deal involved using PayPal and a credit card but turned out to be a fraud. He’s warning fans to be careful.

There were no tickets available through the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday, meaning the only other option is to turn to secondary markets and ticket brokers.

Season ticket holders do have access to Stanley Cup Final tickets at face value and say that’s their reward for supporting the team.

The St. Louis Blues have a partnership with Ticketmaster. At one point on Wednesday, a pair of the cheapest available tickets after fees were assessed added up to nearly $2,000.

“I think it’s outrageous,” said Blues fan John Muich. “I can appreciate the fact that you pay a premium but some of those websites it looks like the fees alone were $250.”

Longtime ticket broker Stephen Gray says he’s working to secure tickets for longtime clients but says they are the only ones he can help right now because the ticket supply for the Stanley Cup Final games in St. Louis is in such support supply.

“I’ve been sending new callers to Stub Hub and Ticketmaster all day, to the NHL marketplace, because I don’t have anything for them,” he said.

“Whenever people are excited and emotional, that’s when scammers like to strike,” said Better Business Bureau Investigator Rebecca Phoenix.

She encourages fans to use reputable sites and says anyone can use the BBB’s database to search for reputable businesses.

BBB offers the following advice for fans seeking tickets:

  • Be careful buying tickets from someone on the street. When you get to the gate and find out your tickets aren’t real, the seller will be long gone.
  • Before buying from an online ticket broker, look for BBB’s Accredited Business seal on the website and click on it to make sure it is real.
  • BBB’s dynamic seal will take you directly to a company’s BBB Business Profile, where you can read about the company’s record for responding to complaints. Make sure the website has a secure payment processing system, usually denoted by “https://” at the start of its website address or URL or a small closed lock icon at the bottom of the screen.
  • If you buy tickets through an online auction site, choose a seller with a history of satisfied customers. Scammers can hijack old accounts, so make sure the seller has recently sold other tickets.
  • Ticket buyers also should be wary of sellers who try to lure buyers from a legitimate site to another site for a “private” transaction. Scammers often want to conduct their business on sites with names that mimic well-known companies but actually are fakes.
  • Pay with a credit card in case you need to challenge the purchase later. If you are buying tickets through an online classified ad site, avoid paying the seller by wire transfer. You will have no way to get your money back if the tickets do not arrive or are counterfeit.
  • For assistance, go to bbb.org or call 888-996-3887.
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