For Immediate Release
MADIGAN ALERTS FANS TO GUARD AGAINST SUPER SCAMS FOR SUPER BOWL
Chicago - Attorney General Lisa Madigan today urged fans purchasing tickets and making frantic travel arrangements to next Sunday’s Super Bowl to exercise caution and not be fooled by shady, last-minute deals to the big game in Miami.
“With both regional fan favorites, the Bears and the Colts, in the Super Bowl, Illinois and Indiana consumers need to be on guard against fraudulent ticket and travel scams,” Madigan said. She offered the following tips and information regarding ticket sales and travel arrangement.
Madigan said fans attempting to purchase tickets online from a third party carry the risk or receiving a counterfeit ticket or no ticket at all. Consumers should follow several rules in responding to sellers offering ticket deals:
“Right now, both teams are preparing their game plans,” Madigan said. “There’s no reason why fans shouldn’t do the same and prepare themselves against unscrupulous ticket and travel vendors.”
Madigan said the Aviation Consumer Protection Division of the U.S. Department of Transportation has established rules for Super Bowl travel package promoters. These rules require that tour operators who market Super Bowl packages that include tickets to the game must have either already purchased the tickets or have a written contract for the tickets before advertising a package.
This “Truth in Ticketing” rule also requires that companies pay full refunds to consumers when they sell a travel package that includes game tickets, but fail to provide the game tickets. These refunds must cover the full price paid for the package, including airfare and hotel rooms. The rule also allows consumers to obtain full refunds if promoters increase the price of the package by more than 10 percent after consumers have paid, and no price increases are allowed during the last 10 days before the departure date.
Fans are reminded to purchase travel packages from providers they have used in the past or ask family or friends to recommend a company that they trust. Madigan said fans should be skeptical if they cannot reach a person on the phone to answer questions or if the company does not give its street address. Consumers also can contact Madigan’s office to inquire if there is a history of complaints on file regarding the business.
“As with game preparation, Super Bowl travelers need to protect themselves by checking all the “Xs and Os” before purchasing travel packages,” Madigan continued.
Consumers who believe that they have been cheated by an unscrupulous travel promoter are urged to contact Madigan’s Consumer Fraud Hotline at 1-800-386-5438 to report the incident and file a consumer complaint. Other helpful travel links include:
Illinois Attorney General Fact Sheet: Things You Should Know About Travel
U.S. Department of Transportation
American Society of Travel Agents