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Posted February 4, 2021 | 11:26 AM

Seven Ways to Avoid Super Bowl Scams

Clever crooks are eager to cash in on big game with tricky schemes

It's Super Bowl LV week in Tampa Bay, and along with excitement and anticipation come criminals eager to hustle unsuspecting fans. Hillsborough County's Consumer & Veterans Services wants to help residents and visitors avoid scams involving tickets, merchandise, and lodging.

Here are tips to keep in mind as Super Bowl Sunday approaches:

  • Choose accredited ticket brokers and resellers. Avoid unregulated ticket scalpers.
  • Look for secure websites showing a padlock icon on the browser address bar and 'https' at the start of the web address.
  • Never pay in cash, cashier's checks, gift cards, or wire money. Use credit cards. They offer protection if problems arise following purchases.
  • Confirm the seller's contact information and location. Don't deal with anyone who refuses to meet in person if your purchase involves a physical item or lodging.
  • Obtain confirmation or a photo of game tickets to ensure they match the venue and existing seat locations.
  • Research complaints and reviews of hotel booking companies to avoid extra fees and "lost reservations" by third-party sellers. Look for secure websites starting with 'https.'
  • Heed warnings from vendors such as Airbnb not to pay for charges outside of its website, such as through email or from third-party agents.

Victims of scams should contact the sheriff or police immediately and file a report. Scams committed through the internet also may be reported to the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center.

For more information, contact Hillsborough County Consumer & Veterans Services at (813) 635-8316 or visit the department's website.

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