March Madness is in full swing and even though no one will be winning Warren Buffet’s billion dollar challenge to the person who predicted the winner of every game, the excitement around the country is high. Of course, whenever excitement is high about anything, scam artists, the only criminals we call artists, are there ready to take advantage of heightened interest. Many people are looking for T- shirts and other apparel and souvenirs online. Many websites are offering inferior, unlicensed products. Scammers are quite adept at manipulating search engines such as Google and Bing so that their phony websites turn up high in any search. People are also anxious to buy tickets and are purchasing them online at places like Craigs list and other sites that are not official ticket vendors. Unfortunately, many of these tickets are counterfeit.
For merchandise purchases, stick to sporting goods websites that you know are legitimate and only pay by a credit card. With a credit card, if the sale is a fraud, you can always stop payment of the charge. As for tickets, Craigslist and many other websites do not confirm the legitimacy of the offers they carry. Again, limit the places you consider to either the official NCAA website of http://www.ncaa.com/tickets or companies such as Stubhub, Ticketron or Ticketmaster and even with these legitimate companies, use a credit card for extra protection.