Madigan encouraged consumers to purchase tickets through
reputable sellers, such as a registered ticket broker, and to take
extreme caution before buying tickets that are advertised by sellers
on websites like Craigslist or other online sellers and could be
“Cubs fans have been waiting a lifetime to see their team play in
the World Series, but don’t let the quest to ‘Fly the W’ let you
fall victim to an expensive scam,” Madigan said.
Madigan offered consumers the following tips regarding special-event
Don’t buy tickets from private parties. The tickets may be
counterfeit. This includes avoiding any offers on online message
boards (like Craigslist) or social media platforms.
Don’t pay cash for tickets. Consumers should only deal with a seller
who accepts credit card payments or other secure payment methods.
Consumers are urged not to buy tickets from an unsecured website.
Consumers should also be wary of online escrow sites, especially
those recommended by a seller. If an escrow site is suggested, the
consumer should independently investigate whether the site is
Never wire any payment to a seller for any reason. Buyers may be
told that they will receive tickets after wiring money to an unknown
seller. In many of these instances, the consumer becomes a victim of
fraud. When buying online, consumers are urged to never wire money
to anyone and should avoid using prepaid cards, debit cards or any
other alternative method to purchase tickets. Purchasing tickets
from a seller that accepts credit cards give consumers recourse to
request a chargeback from their credit card company if the tickets
are not delivered or are counterfeit.
Investigate a ticket broker. If dealing with a ticket broker,
determine whether the broker is a member of the National Association
of Ticket Brokers (www.natb.org) and the Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.org).
Both organizations have membership standards that promote ethical
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Investigate online sellers. When purchasing a ticket online, consumers should
familiarize themselves with the website and seller’s policies. Most legitimate
sellers offer a guarantee as to the timely delivery and the authenticity of the
For ticket brokers in Illinois, consumers can contact the Illinois Secretary of
State’s Index Department in Springfield to ensure that the broker is properly
registered. Illinois law requires ticket brokers to meet certain requirements,
including maintaining a toll-free telephone number and a consumer rebate fund.
Read the fine print. When buying online, consumers should always note whether
they are buying tickets at face value. Consumers also should familiarize
themselves with the policies of the venue where the event is being held to
determine whether the consumer must have actual ticket in hand, or whether the
venue has a mechanism for accepting paperless tickets.
For paperless tickets, consumers should examine the document carefully to make
sure that there is a legitimate and legible barcode that can be scanned. The
consumer should carefully examine the ticket to make sure that the dates and
other relevant information are correct.
Always keep in mind that if the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Madigan urged consumers affected by a ticket scam to file a complaint with her
office by calling her Consumer Fraud Hotline at 1-800-386-5438. Consumers also
can file a complaint on Madigan’s website.
[Office of the Attorney General Lisa