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Georgians warned about football ticket scams

Warning given ahead of NFC Championship Game between Falcons, Packers

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ATLANTA, Ga. – Attorney General Chris Carr and Secretary of State Brian Kemp are warning Georgians about football ticket scams in preparation for the NFC Championship Game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.

The Georgia Secretary of State said in a statement that demand for tickets is high, which creates an opportunity that scammers are already exploiting through the sale of fake, void or stolen tickets.

Not only can consumers lose money in these scams, they may also become victims of identity theft if they give a scammer their personal or financial information, officials said.

"Falcons fans, Secretary of State Brian Kemp and I share your excitement to watch our home team rise up against the Packers in this Sunday's NFC Championship showdown," Carr said. "If you are making preparations to attend the big game, we want to be sure you understand the possibility of ticket scams.

Carr said to use the following tips to avoid becoming a victim:

  • Fans are encouraged to buy tickets from reputable sites, such as NFL.com, Ticketmaster.com or atlantafalcons.com/tickets. Officials said fans who choose another company should check to see if they are accredited with the Better Business Bureau. Fans can also search for complaints and online reviews about the business.
  • Be especially wary of buying tickets through Craigslist ads.
  • Using a credit card offers greater protections against fraud than cash or debit cards.
  • Avoid wiring money to the seller, as this is often an indication of a scam.
  • If purchasing tickets online, make sure the website begins with the prefix https://. This indicates that transactions are encrypted and protected against being intercepted by third parties.
  • Be wary of deals that sound too good to be true. Scammers often try to lure consumers into turning over their money by offering tickets or merchandise at below-market rates.
  • Note that ticket brokers in Georgia must be registered with the Georgia Athletic & Entertainment Commission and must include their license number in any Internet, broadcast or print advertising.
  • Protect your identity by refraining from posting pictures of your tickets online or on social media. Scammers can easily take the barcodes of an online post and use them to create fraudulent tickets and steal personal information.

"This Sunday, I do not want a single Falcons fan to get cheated out of going to the last football game at the Georgia Dome," Kemp said. "Be vigilant when buying tickets so you don't miss this important match-up."

Officials said ticket brokers are required by Georgia law to register with the state and comply with other regulations.

To verify a ticket broker's license, visit sos.ga.gov, click on "Licensing," and then "Search for a Licensee." To file a complaint against a ticket broker, contact the Georgia Athletic and Entertainment Commission at 404-656-2868 or soscontact@sos.ga.gov.