On Your Side Alert: Scams to be aware of when buying tickets from brokers

On Your Side Alert: Scams to be aware of when buying tickets from brokers

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - If you're looking for tickets to hot events like Adele or a big football game, you better watch out! Many people are considering those third party ticket brokers, but be careful. Jessica Hairfield shared her story hoping it can save others money and heartache.

She thought she was doing a good thing for her husband's birthday when she found tickets for her him and his friend to go to see the Giants play the Jets back in December. "He his a big Giants fan, and his best friend is a very big Jets fan. It was just perfect to try and get those two together and let them experience this game," Hairfield says.

She found the tickets at an online third party distributor, and at first, she was a little leery. However, she checked them out and decided to move forward.  Her husband and his friend traveled from Virginia to Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey and rented a hotel. The next day when they got to the stadium, they were told their tickets were duplicates and they could not get in. Instead, they wound up watching the game at a nearby bar.

"When I think of what my husband's face must have looked like when he found out he wasn't getting in that game and his friend, it's just heartbreaking because they could've done that sitting here at home," Hairfield says.

Experts with the BBB say this is the time of year when ticket sales to lots of events start to soar, particularly sporting events.

"Man, you don't know what you're getting, and you don't know who you're getting it from. You gotta really take care of yourself," said Tom Gallagher with the Richmond BBB. "Cut out the risk or the exposure as best you can. Narrow that list down to someone that you know is reputable." That means asking about a ticket guarantee and refund policy, and researching the company's reputation on line by checking sites like BBB and Yelp. Hairfield did those things, which was why she was refunded $412 for the tickets. The company also went after the ticket owner who sought to broker the bogus tickets through them. Still, Hairfield is out of other expenses.

"We are out of gas that was spent on driving seven hours to New York a $200 hotel expense food, time wasted," Hairfield says.

"At this point, it's not only a dollar thing but an emotional thing, and it's a sad sad story," Gallagher says.

"And I'm still in shock and disbelief over it," Hairfield says.

Hairfield says in the future, she'll only buy from the venue where the event is happening or from Ticketmaster, and she's urging others to do the same.  While experts say you don't have to go that far, the more you can protect yourself the better.

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