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Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan
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June 4, 2010

*****CONSUMER ALERT*****CONSUMER ALERT*****

MADIGAN ALERTS FANS TO GUARD AGAINST STANLEY CUP TICKET SCAMS

Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today urged fans purchasing tickets to the remaining games of the Chicago Blackhawks-Philadelphia Flyers Stanley Cup finals series to exercise caution when making online payments. During high-demand special events, the Attorney General's office often learns of instances in which fans purchased tickets online only to discover that those seats didn't actually exist.

Hockey fans need to be wary of fraudulent ticket scams,” Madigan said. “Especially during a championship series, there are con artists out there looking to exploit fans who just want to show support for their team.”

Madigan offered consumers the following tips regarding special-event ticket sales:

  • If dealing with a ticket broker, determine whether the broker is a member of the National Association of Ticket Brokers (www.natb.org) and the Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.org). Both organizations have membership standards that promote ethical business conduct.

  • If dealing with an Illinois ticket broker, consumers can contact the Illinois Secretary of State's Index Department in Springfield to ensure that the broker is properly registered. Illinois law requires ticket brokers meet certain requirements such as having a toll-free phone number and maintaining a consumer rebate fund.

  • Avoid paying cash for tickets in person from a stranger in case the tickets may be counterfeit. Consumers should deal only with a seller who accepts credit card payments or other secure payment methods. Consumers are urged not to buy tickets from an unsecured Web site. Consumers also should be wary of online escrow sites, especially those recommended by a seller. If an escrow site is suggested, the consumer should independently investigate whether the site is legitimate.

  • When buying online, consumers should always note whether they are buying tickets at face value. Consumers also should familiarize themselves with the policies of the venue where the event is being held to ascertain whether the consumer must have actual ticket in hand, or whether the venue has a mechanism for paperless tickets to gain admission.

  • Most importantly, consumers should never wire any payment to a seller for any reason. Buyers are sometimes told that they will receive special-event tickets after wiring money to an unknown seller. In many of these cases, the consumer becomes a victim of fraud.

Consumers who believe that they have been cheated by an unscrupulous online-ticket vendor are urged to contact Attorney General Madigan's Consumer Fraud Hotline at 1-800-386-5438 (TTY: 1-800-964-3013) to report the incident and file a consumer complaint. Consumers also can file a consumer complaint by downloading the complaint form at www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov .

Out-of-state consumers should report fraudulent occurrences to local authorities and their state Attorney General's Office.

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