3 On Your Side

Don't get 'played' by counterfeit pro football tickets

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It's more difficult than ever to tell a fake event ticket from a legit one. (Source: 3TV) It's more difficult than ever to tell a fake event ticket from a legit one. (Source: 3TV)
There is a designated ticket resale are at University of Phoenix Stadium, but that's no guarantee that the tickets you might buy are real. (Source: 3TV) There is a designated ticket resale are at University of Phoenix Stadium, but that's no guarantee that the tickets you might buy are real. (Source: 3TV)
(3 ON YOUR SIDE) -

When it comes to going to a professional football game, things have changed over the years, including the number and apparent quality of fake tickets. The number of counterfeits seems to be up, so you have to be careful.

There seems to be little a buzz of excitement at every Arizona Cardinals home game. 

"Every game we've played at University of Phoenix Stadium has been a sellout, so the demand is always strong for Cardinals tickets," John Drum, vice president of stadium operations for the Arizona Cardinals, said. 

Speaking of tickets, you always have to have your ticket scanned by stadium workers to enter the stadium. A green checkmark means your ticket is legit no matter where or from whom you bought it. 

Not all game ticket will return that green checkmark because fans sometimes are tricked into buying fakes.

"Does it happen each game? Yes, but most of time to a very small degree," Drum explained.

He showed 3 On Your Side how the ticket-scanning process works and said the best way to avoid getting duped is to buy tickets at the stadium box office or online at the NFL ticket exchange. 

"It's hard to tell at times, when you buy from a third party, whether that's a still a valid barcode," he said. "The only time you can find out is when you get to the gates."

3 On Your Side has warned consumers before about con artists selling worthless event tickets.

[RELATED: Mom buys $400 in fake Taylor Swift tickets]

Authentic tickets can be reported as lost and all the crook has to do is ask for new tickets to be reprinted. New tickets in hand, the scammer simply sells you the original ticket with the worthless bar code. You having no way of knowing it until you get to the game.

"These guys are hard to catch," Glendale Police Department spokeswoman Tracey Breeden said.

She went on to say that fans who show up looking to buy tickets on game days need to remember the risks that are involved. There is a designated area just off 93rd and Maryland avenues where ticket resales are allowed. But that doesn't mean scammers with fake tickets aren't lurking around. 

While there is a police presence there, you're still buying at your own risk.

"Ask them for a copy of their driver’s license," Breeden suggested. "If they're not willing to give you basic information, that should be a sign to you that there's something wrong with this. "

With the regular football season about to kick off, keep in mind if you're looking for single-game tickets, it's best go to an authorized vendor or a legitimate ticket broker. Also, be sure to use a credit card. Any other way is like buying from a stranger, and you're taking a chance.

"[About] 63,000 people are at each one of these games, and certainly a lot more people want to get in," Drum said.  "And certainly then, that provides maybe the opportunity why people would want to try to do something illegal and try to counterfeit tickets."

To purchase authentic tickets for the upcoming pro football season visit www.ticketexchangebyticketmaster.com/NFL.

Copyright 2015 3TV (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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