University of Alabama warning fans against counterfeit tickets

HUNTSVILLE, Ala.--Football season is in full swing, but ahead of Saturday's top ten match up between Alabama and Texas A&M, the University of Alabama has released a statement warning fans about fake tickets.

UA's ticket office said with the magnitude of this weekend's game, they want to remind fans the risk of buying tickets from sources other than the official website. Buying tickets online or from scalpers could lead fans to being defrauded.

Lauren Gowins is one such fan who is concerned the tickets she bought might not be real. She said her husband bought their tickets to the game off Craigslist. They were worried about using their credit card information, so they met with the seller in person and used cash.

Gowins said she was nervous about the experience anyways because it was Craigslist, but the seller seemed legit. That is, until they actually got the tickets.

"We got the tickets and I looked at them, and they don't have a picture or an image on them, you know it's easy to replicate the hologram nowadays, so that's my concern,' said Gowins.

She said the only way they will know if the tickets are counterfeit is once they get to the game and try to use them, which she said is the scariest part.

Gowins is just one of many who might be the victim of ticket fraud this weekend. The Better Business Bureau's Elizabeth Garcia said fans can easily fall victim to football ticket fraud.

"With football season in full swing people are always looking for tickets, sometimes at the last-minute, and that's often when consumers tend to get in trouble," she said.

Garcia said it's best to buy tickets on established website vendors like the stadium websites. She said to ignore any pop ups or emails you might get about great ticket deals. She said if it seems to good to be true, it probably is.

Even though she doesn't know if her ticket is actually counterfeit yet, Gowins said after her experience she'll stay away from third-party vendors from now on.

"I think nowadays it's better just to buy the tickets via Ticketmaster, or those online sources that are valuable and validated," she said.

Garcia also urges another way to protect yourself from fraud, stay away from scalpers.

"Don't buy from scalpers, many times scalpers and other scammers will sell tickets that have either already been sold to other people, or for positions or seats that don't even exist in the stadium," said Garcia.

Make sure to check the stadium website to see if your tickets are actual seats, and in a good area. Garcia said one way to look out for fake tickets is the markings on the ticket.

"A laser etched logo or some form of authentication on the ticket, that information is usually available on the league websites to help you identify a legitimate ticket for an event," she said.

Gowins won't know if her ticket is a counterfeit or not until she actually gets to the game, but she thinks this is a problem that is only getting worse.

"People are finding newer ways to make counterfeit tickets actually look really creditable, so I think the University needs to do something with their tickets to where no one can replicate them," she said.

Garcia also wanted consumers to remember to keep copies of all your transactions, and take pictures of the tickets if you can. She urges consumers to use credit cards rather than cash or any other form of payment, because most credit card companies can help you with fraud claims.