As Bears’ playoffs approach, BBB warns of fake tickets, merchandise

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The Chicago Bears are getting ready for their first post-season appearance in almost a decade and Sunday’s game has fans wanting to be a part of the Monsters of the Midway magic in any way they can, whether it’s going to Solider Field or representing their team at home in a new jersey.

But, the influx of fans eager to show their support also leaves them vulnerable to getting scammed, according to Dennis Horton of the Rockford Better Business Bureau.

“Producing fraudulent tickets is a fairly easy thing to do today,” Horton said. “If you buy a ticket from someone, like on Craigslist, you don’t really know who that person is. You don’t know whether or not that is a real ticket.”

The BBB director says some wisdom to remember is, when trying to get a coveted playoff ticket, is that if a price is too good to be true, it probably is. Horton recommends ticket buyers avoid individual e-commerce sites like Craigslist and eBay, and always use a credit card, regardless.

“It’s a safe line of defense for you. So, if you have that ticket, if there’s a problem with the ticket, then you have your credit card company to fall back on an recoup your funds,” Horton said.

Fake tickets aren’t the only thing that fans have to be on the look out for: jerseys and signed memorabilia are often counterfeited as well.

“I have people asking me, when the bring it, is if it’s real,” said Brad Parvin, owner of the Collector’s Bench at 218 E State Street. “I have people who come in here that want to buy, sell, trade, etcetera. And, I can tell you, in my experience, I see a ton of fakes.”

Drew Williams, manager of Sports and More at CherryVale Mall, said, “They just copy and paste the photo from the real site and put it on their sites. So, you think you’re getting a real one, but when it comes in, it doesn’t look like it. So, that’s what kind of sucks about online [shopping.] You never know what you’re getting ’til you get it in.”

Williams continued: “They try to make it like the NFL shop, you know? Like their website and stuff. And you think it’s legit, but it’s really not.”

Horton said, “The best thing to do is simply deal with an authorized vendor and stay away from anything where the opportunity is there for you to be ripped off.”

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