With the AFC Divisional Championships this weekend and the Super Bowl just around the corner, Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin is warning Patriots fans of possible ticket scams.
"With the divisional championship taking place on home turf, these are the hottest tickets in town right now," said Attorney General Kilmartin. "The chance to watch the Patriots and Ravens battle it out in an AFC championship rematch is one many New England fans don't want to miss. However, we are warning Patriots fans: don't let your enthusiasm for the game cloud your judgment. Whenever there is a demand, scam artists will try to take advantage."
Before meeting a stranger in a dark parking lot to hand over your hard-earned cash, here are some tips to keep in mind: • It is against the law in Rhode Island to overly inflate the price of tickets. As outlined in RI General Laws § 55-22-6, ticket sellers may not charge a service fee of over $3.00 or 10% (whichever is greater) of the price printed on the ticket. • When purchasing tickets, try to buy tickets directly from the NFL or an NFL-approved ticket broker. • If you go through a ticket broker, do your homework. Check with the Better Business Bureau to see if there are any complaints against the ticket broker or agency. • Always pay by credit card – do not wire funds or pay by cash. A credit card may provide some protection if you do not receive the tickets or if they turn out to be fake. • Ask the seller to email or fax a copy of the actual tickets before making a payment. Make sure the ticket information includes the correct date, time, location and seating details. Verify that the seating information matches with the stadium where the game is being played.
"All New England fans are hoping to watch the Patriots defeat the Ravens and move on to Super Bowl victory," said Attorney General Kilmartin. "Hopefully the Patriots' winning streak will continue, but just remember that the post-season is when scam artists step up their game also. If you buy last-minute tickets for the big game, be careful about how and where you purchase them."
If you believe you are a victim of consumer fraud, please contact the Consumer Protection Unit at the Department of Rhode Island Attorney General at (401) 274-4400. You can download a consumer complaint by visiting our website at www.riag.ri.gov. You can also email us at email@example.com.
About the Office of the Attorney General Consumer Protection Unit The Office of the Attorney General Consumer Protection Unit investigates and mediates consumer complaints concerning unfair and unlawful business practices and misleading advertising arising out of alleged violations of the Deceptive Trade Practices Act. If groups of people are victimized by a deceptive trade practice, this office may file in the Superior Court a civil investigative demand, which is a formal investigation. In appropriate cases, a lawsuit to stop the illegal business practice may be initiated.
Apart from carrying out its statutory responsibilities, the Unit also provides information and referral services to the general public. Consumers are directed to the appropriate governmental or private agencies for help in answering specialized questions or resolving disputes that are not within the Unit's jurisdiction.
The Consumer Protection Unit is available to speak to community groups on how to prevent being a victim of identity theft and other scams.