Vikings: Roughly 100 People Scammed Via Counterfeit Tickets Sunday

January 02, 2018 05:45 PM

With the Minnesota Vikings in the playoffs and the Super Bowl now just 32 days away, football is center stage. And with that comes the prospect of ticket scammers.

The team says 10 to 20 people might be scammed into buying fake tickets to any given game, but last weekend that number soared to roughly 100.


Tim Nelson was one of them.

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"We were very excited," said the Minnesota native who now lives in Colorado. "Our daughter had never been to a game, so this was our Christmas present to her."  

Nelson bought four tickets for $660 from a man on Craigslist, but after waiting outside in the freezing weather to get in Sunday, he learned his tickets were fake.

The Vikings say there is a direct correlation between the number of counterfeit tickets and the team's success. 

"We've seen an increase this year as the team has had continued success," Vikings spokesperson Jeff Anderson said. "And we certainly expect a bigger increase as we head into home playoff games." 

Nelson's family took pictures as he bought the tickets from the alleged scammer. They turned those pictures over to police and filed a report at the stadium.

Nelson said he was one of many doing so.

"I bet there were 50 people in line," he said. "And how many tickets did they each have? We had four tickets for $660 bucks."

Tips to Avoid Ticket Scams

On Game Day:

- Always check with the Vikings Ticket Office to see if tickets are available.

- The Vikings have two types of authorized tickets: accessible through the Vikings Mobile App or printed PDF tickets. If you are buying tickets on the street:

  • Take your time. Scrutinize the tickets closely for any inaccuracies or alterations, and cross-check the seat assignment and prices with a stadium map found on the Vikings Mobile App.
  • Vikings tickets are not sold on hard ticket stock. If you are buying tickets on the street and they are hard ticket stock, they are counterfeit.
  • As the person who is selling tickets on the street if you can take a picture of him/her with their valid ID before the transaction. Cross-check the seat assignment and prices with a stadium map found on the Vikings Mobile App. If they refuse, move on.

Buying Tickets Online:

  • Only the Vikings ticket office, Ticketmaster and the NFL TicketExchange can guarantee the ticket you purchase online will be valid to attend the event. 
  • When buying from a merchant, always look for the BBB Online seal. The logo will tell you that you're dealing with a company that has a good reputation for satisfying customers and a secure website for processing your payment.
  • When buying form an individual through an online exchange, don't be lured away from the website by the seller. Even if you met the seller on the exchange website, the company may not guarantee any lost money if a transaction occurs outside their domain.
  • If you buy tickets through an online auction, choose a seller with a long, continuous history of satisfied customers. Scammers can hijack old accounts, so make sure they have recently bought or sold other items.
  • Only pay with a credit card or through PayPal, which offer some protection and potential reimbursement. Never pay with a cashier's check, gift cards or wire money to a seller; you'll have no way to get your money back if the tickets do not arrive.
  • Many sellers will include pictures of the tickets with their posts on auction sites or bulletin boards. Scalpers near the venue will have the tickets themselves. Scrutinize the tickets closely for any inaccuracies or alterations, and cross-check the seat assignment with a stadium map found on the Vikings Mobile App before you buy. 

-courtesy Minnesota Vikings and Better Business Bureau

Other than the team's ticket office, the Vikings say they only work with Ticketmaster and the NFL Ticket Exchange.

Buyers then receive either an electronic ticket via an app on their phone, or a full page paper ticket to get into the game.

KSTP's Super Bowl Transportation Guide

Anderson says if you buy anywhere else, ask questions.

"Ask the seller to take a photo with their ID, ask them to walk you to the gate," he said. "If they're not willing to do those things, then walk away."

The Vikings say if someone is trying to sell you a hard ticket stock on the street, don't buy it because it's counterfeit.

Minnesota's Moment: KSTP's Super Bowl Page

If buying from a merchant, look for the Better Business Bureau online seal to make sure it's a legitimate vendor.

The Vikings are working closely with Minneapolis police and the BBB to combat scammers.


Jessica Miles

Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company


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