Today’s Also the Super Bowl for Scammers

XVLI in Indianapolis is Super Bowl for Scammers, tooOne of the biggest live events every year, and perhaps especially this one, is the Super Bowl.  Bringing tons of attention, fans, tourism, and merchandise sales, of course, action like this attracts cons like flies to overripe fruit. Via WISH TV, Indianapolis’ local channel 8, here’s a sampling of the current team roster for you spectators of an entirely different kind of sport.

1) Fake merchandise—This may include garments from non-licensed vendors, ones using old logos, or ones without the official holograms and serial numbers. (You didn’t think those were just for high-tech prettiness, did you?) These fakes may bother the NFL licensees, who pay a lot for the rights, more than individual T-shirt buyers, for example. However, the quality of knockoffs tends to be poor, and if you’re paying “authentic” prices, you’re getting burned.

2) Ticket scams and counterfeits

Game tickets being sold under the “going rate” or below face value should arouse suspicion. Fakes may also be printed on lower quality paper, with misspellings and off-center logos. Police are also warning about ploys intended to take your tickets. Scammers will offer “upgrades”—a trade of their counterfeit ticket in exchange for your current ticket. Also, be aware that there are no “e-tickets” to the game or ticket stubs you can print yourself. Internet scammers may also require upfront money before tickets are sent.

This also includes fake tickets to parties, asking to be paid for tickets to free events or for events that don’t exist. One local business is out 80 grand *ouch!* and its genuine game tickets, because two checks from a California buyer which initially cleared were later reported by the paying bank to be fraudulent.

3) Parking scams—People will try to collect money for spots they don’t control, even to park you in a spot from which you’ll be towed. Nothing like spending hours finding the impound lot—usually somewhere in the rumplands, to arrive at which you’ll have to pay a smug cabdriver a small fortune —then waiting for someone to fetch your not-very-gently treated car. It’ll be the most expensive several hours of parking you’ve ever paid, and to add insult, those places usually require a fistful of cash before they let you go. They’re not nearly as trusting as the out-of-town driver who end up there.

4) The usual suspects—Wherever you find crowds and lots of small cash transactions like at snack kiosks and souvenir stands, there will be pickpockets and people passing bad bills.

Whether you’re abroad or (think you’re) safe on the couch at home— and no matter whether you’re cheering on the New England Patriots or New York Giants—remember there’s nothing New about evildoing. Keep one beady eye out for those who’d swipe your valuables, even if that’s just your fresh beer. Sport does brings out the worst in some folks.

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