CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - The Cardinals will start the playoffs this week and that is why the Better Business Bureau is warning fans to watch out for potential scams by fake ticket sellers.
The BBB said it is easy for sports fans to get scammed when they buy tickets from individuals or second-hand websites.
In some cases, the tickets may be counterfeit or fans might pay in advance for tickets that never arrive.
According to the BBB, the secondary market for sporting and entertainment tickets is estimated at about $10 billion a year.
Josh Hanlon, the marketing director at the Show Me Center, said they deal with similar problems.
People will purchase tickets for concerts or other events from websites other then the venue's and end up paying much more than face value.
"Instead of buying a ticket for Brantley Gilbert later this month for $29.75, you may spend $80 on that same ticket, and not know any different until you get to the show and realize that your ticket is different and says $29.75 on it," Hanlon said.
The problem Hanlon said though, is in most cases the venue can't do anything if fans buy tickets from outside sources.
"They come to us wanting to know 'I want a refund for all that amount over the ticket price," Hanlon said. "And unfortunately venues such as ourselves, the only amount of money we receive was the standard ticket price. We didn't get all that was extra. So we can't refund any that was extra because it never came to us."
Hanlon said the best idea is to stick with a legit source.
He suggests, buying your ticket from the venue in person, calling that venue for tickets, or using their website.
Hanlon said to be sure fans are using the right websites.
A lot of scam websites will try to mimic the real ones, so Hanlon said to look for the correct logos.
The Better Business Bureau also suggests looking for the BBB's Accredited Business seal.
That will let you know if the site is real.
The agency also said to make sure the website has a secure payment processing system. The website should be secure if it has "https:// at the start of the site's URL.
It also recommends being wary of sites that mimic well-known companies but are actually fake.