BBB: Beware of fake NCAA tourney basketball tickets

Posted at 5:12 PM, Mar 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-25 17:19:39-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The first weekend of March Madness is in the books, and two home-state teams are still in the NCAA tournament.

The University of Michigan and Michigan State University's men's basketball teams are headed to the Sweet 16.

That means plenty of people in West Michigan might be interested in attending a game. But before buying a plane ticket to California or Washington D.C. for either game, the Better Business Bureau says to make sure you avoid the costly mistake of buying a fake game ticket.

Primetime for college basketball is primetime for fraudulent ticket sellers, according to the BBB.

“Ticket scammers target large sporting events like the NCAA tournament. This is primetime for scammers," Troy Baker with the BBB said.

He added, “They’re hoping that you don’t pay attention, or you go to some place that's not legitimate to get your tickets.”

According to, the NCAA's official ticket provider, game tickets range from about $160 to more than $2,000. That depends on where you sit and how many rounds you plan to watch this weekend.

The BBB said some scammers may try to fool you with an unbeatable price with what turns out to be a fake ticket and not every website guarantees a ticket's authenticity or your purchase.

"If you’re looking for tickets, the safest place to go is the NCAA ticket exchange. You know they're legitimate tickets. If you're going to buy tickets some place else, do your research, make sure you're buying someplace trustworthy, and as always if an offer is too good to be true, it probably is," Baker explained.

The BBB said buy from a trusted vendor, know the refund policy, and use payments methods like a credit card for best protection. Again, the official site for tickets for the NCAA tournament is