LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) - With Super Bowl ticket prices soaring well into the four and five figure range, the big game is a prime event for scammers trying to con eager football fans.
The average price of a ticket to Sunday's game between the LA Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals at SoFi Stadium has hovered just around $9,000, which is why Bill Yarbrough said he's watching the game from his couch.
"I think the cheap seats are maybe $4,500, $5,000," he said.
There are, however, tickets advertised on sites like Craiglist at much more affordable prices ranging from $200-$500 and, in some cases, even less.
"If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is," said Yarbrough.
Con artists and scammers, though, know there are fans desperate to get to the game who will fall for the affordably advertised and, likely, fraudulent tickets.
"A big national event like the Super Bowl, of course they're going to come out of the woodwork," said Eva Velasquez, President and CEO of the Identity Theft Resource Center.
The center helps protect consumers from scams, and with the Super Bowl, the most common scam involves ticket sales.
"And there's a lot of sweepstakes, promotions and prize giveaways during this big event," Velasquez added.
She also said that scammers may piggyback off of promotions and prize giveaways to get fans to part with their personal information or their cash. Velasquez said nobody should ever pay anything to enter a sweepstakes or claim a prize, and if you do purchase any goods, always use a credit card because they offer more protections.
"It is next to impossible to get your money back when you use something other than a credit card," Velasquez said. "We have to remember when are using something like cryptocurrency, peer to peer payment platforms like Zelle or Venmo, that's just like cash."
Stub Hub ticket expert Adam Budelli said the cheapest tickets anyone will find right now are around $4,800. So, anything significantly less is likely a scam.
"The best and safest thing to do is to make sure you are buying through a trusted and reputable source, like Stub Hub, that works with the NFL to ensure that all the tickets that are being listed are in fact fully verified," Budelli said.
The Super Bowl is a mobile-ticket only event, meaning if you have a counterfeit ticket, you'll have no recourse. If you are, however, one of the lucky ones who has a legitimate ticket to the game, never post a photo of it online. Thieves can steal the bar code and sell it or use it.
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