With playoff games on the way to Oklahoma, Better Business Bureau® of Central Oklahoma advises sports fans to be sure the tickets they buy for playoff games are the real deal. Buying on the secondary market can be useful for non-season ticket holders, occasional fans, or those making a last-minute decision to head to the arena. But how do you make sure you purchase authentic tickets?

Any large sporting event, especially playoff and final games, attract scammers looking to prey off of fans.  High admission costs to an event like the Thunder playoff games can lead fans astray, so BBB is offering the following tips so basketball fans don't get fouled by a scam.

Purchase from the venue. Whenever possible, use the official ticket sales agent for the venue. Many now offer secondary sales options, as well.

Consider your source. Know the difference between a ticket broker (a legitimate and accredited reseller), a ticket scalper (an unregulated and unlicensed ticket seller), and a scammer selling fraudulent tickets.

Check out the seller/broker. Look them up on bbb.org to learn what other customers have experienced. Check to see if they are a member of the National Association of Ticket Brokers (natb.org). NATB members offer a 200 percent guarantee on tickets that don’t arrive in time for a game, concert or show.

Buy only from trusted vendors. Buy online only from vendors you know and trust. Look for the lock symbol in the web address to indicate a secure purchasing system. Don’t click through from emails or online ads; a common scam trick is to create a web address that is similar to a well-known company.

Know the refund policy. You should only purchase tickets from a ticket reseller that provides clear details about the terms of the transaction.

Use payment methods that come with protection. Always use a credit card so you have some recourse if the tickets are not as promised. Debit cards, wire transfer or cash transactions are risky; if the tickets are fraudulent, you won’t be able to get your money back.

Be wary of advertisements. When you search the web for online tickets, advertisements for cheap tickets will often appear. Use good judgment; some of these ads are going to be scams, especially if the prices are low.

Verify your tickets. Pay a visit to the arena where the event will be held. Present your ticket to “Will Call” (customer service) and they can verify if your ticket is legitimate. 

To see tips, infographics, as well as a short video on what to be aware of when buying tickets online visit bbb.org/tickets.