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BBB warns Panthers fans: Don't get burned buying fake tickets to Monday night's game

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

If you want to get a ticket for the big Monday Night Football game, it is going to cost you.

Tickets for the Panthers and Patriots game are being sold for more than $1,000.

According to StubHub, these listings are not breaking any North Carolina state laws.

The website says "North Carolina allows resale of tickets without regard to face value, except for student tickets for sporting events. Venues may opt-out of allowing resale above face value for certain events - if in doubt, check the venue's website."

If you want to go to the game, the BBB has tips to help you get the hottest tickets in town without getting burned.

The opportunity for sports fans to be scammed by fake ticket sellers occurs most often when people buy tickets from individuals outside the venue on the street, or through online auctions, classifieds and bulletin boards.

"The most common way sports fans are getting burned is by either paying for counterfeit tickets or paying in advance for tickets that never arrive," said BBB President Tom Bartholomy.

The secondary ticket market for sporting and entertainment events, which includes tickets bought and sold by professional brokers, speculators and season ticket holders, is a $10 billion dollar per year industry. "The Internet has become the arena of choice for sports fans looking to buy or sell tickets," said Bartholomy. "It has also become a breeding ground for scammers looking to take advantage of sports fans."
  
The BBB's database includes reputable, secondary market, ticket firms that provide buyer protections including money back guarantees on the legitimacy of tickets.

TicketsNow (BBB grade A+) verifies tickets sold online and sends you the tickets via email immediately after you purchase them. StubHub (BBB grade A+) and RazorGator (BBB grade A+) require that sellers provide credit-card numbers as a protection to buyers. If the seller's tickets are fake, the seller's credit card gets charged for the cost of replacement tickets.

The BBB has four tips for football fans to follow:

1. If you are buying tickets on the street before the game, be very careful. When you get to the gate and find out your tickets aren't real, the seller will be long gone. To minimize the risk, you should find out what a real ticket looks like so you will know if the one you are buying looks real.

2. If you are buying from an online ticket broker, look for the BBB seal so you know that you are dealing with a company that has a good reputation and a secure website for processing your payment. You should conduct the sales transaction through the online site. Don't be lured away by a seller who would prefer to conduct the transaction privately.

3. If you are buying tickets through Craigslist, you should never pay the seller by wire transfer or prepaid debit card such as the Green Dot card from Walmart. You will have no way to get your money back if the tickets are counterfeit.

4. If you are buying from a local seller whom you do not know, you should meet the seller in a public place to conduct the transaction.
For more information, please visit BBB or call 1-877-317-7236 toll-free in N.C. and S.C.

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