Scammers move in as Seahawks playoff tickets go on sale | Better Business Bureau

With Seahawks playoff tickets going on sale today, Better Business Bureau warn fans of fraudsters selling fake tickets and counterfeit merchandise.

“There is going to be a mad rush of people trying to get their hands on playoff tickets and the latest Hawk gear,” says Tyler Andrew, CEO of BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington. “We want to make sure fans play it smart before handing over a lot of cash.”

According to the Counterfeiting Intelligence Bureau, counterfeiting is one of the fastest growing economic crimes, accounting for $600 billion in global trade a year. Last football season, federal agents seized more than $20 million in fake NFL merchandise during Operation Team Player.

BBB reminds the 12th Man faithful to be wary of too-good-to-be-true deals and to exercise caution when buying playoff tickets.

  • Get a first down. Look for BBB’s seal when buying tickets from an online broker. Use verifiable ticket sellers and resellers that hold vendors responsible to ticket authenticity.
  • Call an audible. Avoid shady transactions where sellers fail to provide contact information or prefer to conduct business in private. Never wire money or fill up a pre-paid debit card as a method of payment.
  • Avoid the blitz. Know how an actual playoff ticket looks and feels. Steer clear of tickets printed on flimsy paper, with smeared ink and uneven margins. When in doubt, just walk away.
  • Spot the fakes. Be alert for counterfeit merchandise sold at blockbuster prices. Official Seahawksgear can only be sold by authorized retailers.
  • Be on the defense. Watch for pop-up street vendors, online auctions and other questionable sources. Check with bbb.org first before making a purchase.

Keep in mind, team names and logos are copyrights of the National Football League. NFL Properties LLCissues merchandise licenses to persons or businesses wishing to make and sell products with NFL copyrights. To find out more, call the NFL Licensing Hotline at 212-450-2780, and always check out businesses at bbb.org.