Beware of fake playoff tickets and merchandise

Better Business Bureau warns fans to be careful of fake tickets and counterfeit merchandise.

The Better Business Bureau warns Seahawk and Husky fans to be careful of those selling fake tickets as well as counterfeit merchandise.

They also warn Cougar fans who are playing in the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 27.

A release from the BBB said the Counterfeiting Intelligence Bureau reported that counterfeiting to be one of the fastest growing economic crimes. The release added it accounts for nearly $600 billion in global trade a year.

The release cautions football fans to be wary of, “too good to be true deals.” Here are some tips from the BBB when purchasing tickets or merchandise:

  • Don’t fumble. Avoid shady transactions where sellers fail to provide contact information or prefer to conduct business in private. Never wire money or fill up a pre-paid debit card as a method of payment.
  • Spot the pump fake. Know how an actual playoff ticket looks and feels. Steer clear of tickets printed on flimsy paper, with smeared ink and uneven margins. When in doubt, just walk away.
  • Stiff-arm scammers. Be alert for counterfeit merchandise sold at cheap prices. Remember, official NFL gear can only be sold by authorized retailers.
  • Be on the defense. Watch for pop-up street vendors, online auctions and other questionable sources. Check with first before making a purchase.
  • Avoid the false start. Look for BBB’s seal when buying tickets from an online broker. Use verifiable ticket sellers and resellers that hold vendors responsible for ticket authenticity.

If you believe you are a victim of a coun- terfeit scam, the BBB recommends you contact your local law enforcement and report the incident to BBB Scam Tracker at