The BBB quotes the Counterfeiting Intelligence Bureau (http://www.iccwbo.org/products-and-services/fighting-commercial-crime/counterfeiting-intelligence-bureau/) as saying that counterfeiting is a $600 billion a year business. And in 2014, federal agents seized more than $21.6 million in fake NFL merchandise.
There are things that you can do to protect yourself from fraud. The BBB recommends that you:
• Start with trust. Use reputable and verifiable ticket resellers. BBB recommends the National Association of Ticket Brokers (NATB; http://www.natb.org/) as they offer a 200% money-back guarantee.
• Read the fine print. Just because a travel package has “NFL Playoffs” in the name doesn’t mean it includes tickets; if game tickets are not explicitly mentioned in ads, do not assume they are included.
• Understand the law. The U.S. Department of Transportation requires sellers to have tickets in-hand before they can advertise inclusive ticket/airfare packages.
• Pass on the fakes. Be watchful for counterfeit merchandise sold at blockbuster prices. Official Seahawks gear can only be sold by authorized retailers.
• Research hotels and locations. Dishonest businesses may advertise that they are close to the stadium or “walking distance” when in fact they are not, requiring extra expenditures for car rentals or taxis.
• Get everything in writing. Before making payments, make sure contracts clearly outline all the terms and conditions of packages, including cancellation policies and related fees.
Also, as much fun as it may be to go to a game on the spur of the moment, the BBB warns that you should never feel pressure to make immediate decisions. Plan ahead; take the time to research your options and the businesses that you will be working with. You can use the BBB’s search page at http://www.bbb.org/search/ research businesses.
And, GO HAWKS!!!!!!!