Dear Action Line: I am looking for tickets to the Super Bowl. I hear lots of things about ads on the Internet and how unsafe they are. I have always wanted to go the Super Bowl and am willing to pay the price, but what guarantee do I have that I will get my tickets if I buy?
Risks associated with purchasing Super Bowl or any major event tickets online include tickets never being sent or if you do get the tickets, they may not be for the premium seats you thought you were buying. If risk-taking is in your blood, however, the following steps should be taken to reduce the chances of being ripped off:
* Always buy from an established ticket reselling company.
* When buying from a ticket reselling company online, buyers should always look for the BBBOnLine seal. The BBBOnLine logo is a sign that the company has a good reputation for satisfying customers and a secure Web site for processing payments. If you are looking for a ticket seller, always call your BBB first.
* Paying with a credit card or through PayPal will provide protection and the opportunity for potential reimbursement if the company is fraudulent. Consumers should never pay with a cashier's check or wire money to a seller, as they will have no way to get their money back if the tickets do not arrive.
* Consumers who have been scammed buying tickets online can file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau online at www.bbb.org. They can also file complaints with the California Attorney General's office at 800-952-5225.
-- Blair Looney is president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Central California. Send your consumer concerns, questions and problems to Action Line at the Better Business Bureau, 1601 H St., Suite 101, Bakersfield, CA 93301 or firstname.lastname@example.org.