Football ticket scammers are rampant. Here’s how to stay safe

By WVUA 23 News Reporter Gracie Johnson

When University of Alabama football faces off against a big rival like this weekend’s game against Ole Miss, tickets wind up as hot, high-priced commodities.

But many of those secondhand ticket deals seen all over social media, hawked on corners before kickoff or listed on sketchy-looking websites will get fans a lighter wallet and nothing else.

Alabama switched to digital-only tickets with the 2020 football season as a measure to combat potential COVID-19 spread and protect fans against counterfeiters. But the move also left many long-time fans who aren’t internet-savvy confused about the new process, putting them at risk of getting scammed in all new ways.

Better Business Bureau Communications Manager Alex Derencz said anyone buying or selling items online needs to do their due diligence.

“One of the biggest things is read the fine print,” Derencz said. “The person or the agency selling you tickets should outline all those policies, like a refund policy.”

The Alabama Crimson Tide Mobile App allows fans to transfer their tickets through the app, and tickets are also available for sale through secondhand sellers including StubHub.

While buying counterfeit tickets is no longer possible, fans who attempt buying tickets directly from other fans do not have the protection provided by going through a legitimate ticket buying and selling service.

Several escrow services exist to protect buyers and sellers from scams, including the UA student-focused Student Seats.

If you do buy tickets directly from another fan, Derencz said it’s imperative to use a secure payment method like a credit card or PayPal’s Goods and Services option that offers buyer protection. You can also search the seller’s information online before making a purchase.

Secondhand sellers said the change has freed them from many of the annoyances that came with paper tickets, and that’s good for buyers, too.

“I actually like it a lot better because I can do a whole transaction over the phone,” said T-Town Tickets Owner Candace Carden. “The customer has their tickets immediately. We’re not waiting on any kind of service to get them there, so it’s actually really good.”

No more tickets lost in the mail, and no more being denied entrance to Bryant-Denny Stadium because of counterfeit tickets. Once the ticket is in your Alabama Athletics ticket account, all that’s left is scanning your ticket at the gate.

Anyone attending the game is encouraged to have their tickets downloaded onto a smartphone before getting in line for entrance. Need help? You can find a detailed guide right here.

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