How to avoid Super Bowl 50 ticket scams

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning answers questions during Opening Night for the NFL Super Bowl 50 football game Monday, Feb. 1, 2016, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — With Super Bowl 50 on track to be the most expensive game ever in terms of ticket sales, with any event this large, there is the inherent risk of ticketing scams.

However, KRON spoke to a sales expert who said the chances of fraud at the big game are actually unlikely.

It’s every football fan’s worst nightmare. You pay thousands of dollars for Super Bowl tickets, only to be turned away at the gate because they are fake.

Fortunately, the NFL and companies in the secondary ticket market are making sure that doesn’t happen. As of Wednesday, the average price for a Super Bowl ticket on SeatGeek is just over $5,200.

A lot of money brings a lot of risk and those in the business of legitimate tickets have seen it all.

“The way that I often see people counterfeit tickets is they’ll take a real PDF print at home ticket for a sporting event, and just print out 20 of them and sell them…on the street,” SeatGeek Content Analyst Chris Leyden said. “And, one of those tickets will work, whoever gets their first I guess, but the other 19 are copies that aren’t going to work.”

Instead of taking a chance on a scalper or on Craigslist, it’s advised to go through a company that offers a strong guarantee policy in case anything goes wrong.

At last season’s Super Bowl, SeatGeek offered a 100 percent refund. This year, buyers will receive double the money paid, or be given tickets of equal or greater value.

“I think those guarantees that we have now in place pretty much force sellers to be truthful…because if you are a bad seller and sell a ticket on SeatGeek, and it ends up not working, you are on the line for a lot more money than you were potentially gonna make,” Leyden said.

Then there’s also the issue of short selling, where vendors sell tickets ahead of time without actually having them, leaving consumers out of luck.

The practice is common at big games, and it happened several times at Super Bowl 49 but companies have gotten wise.

“I think steps have been taken…industry-wide to make sure that doesn’t happen,” Leyden said. “It seems pretty unlikely that we’ll see anything like what happened last year. I think last year was definitely an outlier…compared to past Super Bowls.

Another factor that curbs against fraud is the fact all Super Bowl tickets are a hard copy and not available electronically, which means fans won’t be able to download them to their phone and scan it at the stadium.

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