Beware of bogus Super Bowl fan packages | Better Business Bureau

As the Seattle Seahawks return to the Super Bowl for the second year in a row, the 12th Man’s quest to attend the big game will prove to be expensive and difficult.

“There is no doubt in my mind that trying to score tickets to the game will be fierce,” says Tyler Andrew CEO of Better Business Bureau serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington. “But we expect swarms of fans to travel to and vacation in Arizona during Super Bowl week even without game day tickets.”

Last year an estimated 400,000 people descended on the greater East Rutherford area during the week of the big game. BBB warns that scammers will likely be targeting these out-of-town fans this year in Glendale, Ariz.

BBB reminds travelers to be wary of too-good-to-be-true deals on airfare, boarding and event passes:

  • Read the fine print. Just because a travel package has “Super Bowl” in the name doesn’t mean it includes tickets; if game tickets are not explicitly mentioned in ads, do not assume they are included.
  • Understand the law. The U.S. Department of Transportation requires sellers to have tickets in-hand before they can advertise inclusive ticket/airfare packages.
  • Pay with credit. Credit card companies usually provide more time to dispute fraudulent charges; never wire money for tickets or hotel stays.
  • Research hotels and locations. Dishonest businesses may advertise that they are close to the stadium or “walking distance” when in fact they are not, requiring extra expenditures for car rentals or taxis.
  • Get everything in writing. Before making payments, make sure contracts clearly outline all the terms and conditions of packages, including cancellation policies and related fees.

Never feel pressured to make immediate decisions; always take time to research travel plans and businesses at bbb.org/search.