The Better Business Bureau is warning Flames fans to watch out for ticket scams as the team clinches a playoff spot.

These are exciting times in Calgary now that the Flames are in the playoffs. The Red Mile is ready, you can spot jerseys all over town and game tickets are a hot item. Unfortunately, they might be a little too hot.

“The last time the Flames were in the playoffs, what happened was there was a fraudulent seller online who was selling the same pair of tickets to multiple buyers and the money was exchanging hands before the tickets were, and the people were left empty-handed,” said Leah Brownridge, Better Business Bureau.

Scammers are drawn to popular events because people are scrambling for tickets and might be lured into making a hasty decision. But there are usually warning signs.

“If they are not willing to meet you in person in a public, safe space, that could set off some alarm bells, if they are living overseas and only will to communicate over email or text messages, that could be sign of some suspicious activity as well,” said Brownridge.

If you are considering some tickets, here are a few ways to protect yourself from being scammed:

  • Verify ticket sales
  • Purchase from the venue
  • Be wary of online advertisements
  • Beware of deals that seem to good to be true
  • Ask to meet in person
  • Use available tools and resources

“eBay will let you look at the seller’s reputation and provides feedback from people they have already dealt with, so take a look at that, if you can’t, you want to make sure you are asking as many questions as possible before any money changes hands,” said Brownridge.

Even when you are face-to-face with the seller, be sure to check that the tickets you want to buy are for the correct game date, and always pay with a credit card in order to benefit from the protection offered by the credit card company. If the seller requests a wire money transfer or cash, walk away.

For more tips to protect yourself from scammers, log on to the Better Business Bureau website.