Headed to the Super Bowl? Beware of these scams

ByNydia Han and Heather Grubola WPVI logo
Tuesday, January 31, 2023
Headed to the Super Bowl? Beware of these scams
As Eagles fans make Super Bowl plans, it's important to be aware of everything from bogus tickets to fake merchandise to travel scams.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- As Eagles fans make Super Bowl plans, it's important to be aware of everything from bogus tickets to fake merchandise to travel scams.

Super Bowl LVII will not only attract legions of football fans but legions of con artists.

First of all, don't ever pay to enter a ticket giveaway or raffle unless you personally know and trust the organizer.

Second, Super Bowl tickets are mobile-only, and the safest way to buy is through one of the NFL's three partner marketplaces, which are StubHub, SeatGeek, and Ticketmaster. On those websites, you'll see a square NFL icon that indicates you're buying an NFL-authenticated ticket.

"Fraudulent tickets is a huge concern but then certainly for merchandise as well," said Gary Brickhouse of GuidePoint Security. "It's like, hey, click here to get your official t-shirt or official souvenir."

If you click on a bad link, you could end up with fake merchandise or malicious software on your computer called "malware" -- giving hackers access to anything on your computer.

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"Any activity typically that happens on your local computer, the attacker would have access to so maybe that's the way that you access your bank accounts or passwords," said Brickhouse.

Phishing emails and smishing texts are messages sent by cybercriminals to steal your information, your money, and your identity. Cybersecurity experts warn they are seeing an uptick in personalization.

"You know, we see, 'Hey, Gary, I know you're a Philadelphia Eagles fan. You know, I know that you used to be a season ticket holder, click here, because this is the ticket that you don't want to miss,'" said Brickhouse.

So independently reach out to any sender to verify legitimacy.

"Don't click the link in the email, go directly to the source through your browser," said Brickhouse.

Typos or grammatical mistakes are often red flags.

"On social media, if someone approaches you directly through instant messaging and offers you some special offers, this is usually a scam," said Yoav Keren of BrandShield.

Fans flocking to the desert should also watch for travel-related fraud. Airbnb says it's seeing a rise in third-party scams.

"They mock up kind of fake sites that look like Airbnb, but they're really not. And they try to get you to wire money. And in that case, that's money that you're never going to see again," said Ben Breit of Airbnb.

The best protection? Message and pay only through the platform.

"Talk to that host, ask questions, make sure that you're comfortable with the location, the nature of the listing, they're all different," said Breit.

Airbnb says it has a dedicated big game support team that will be focused on Phoenix-area reservations and helping both Philadelphia and Kansas City fans through February 12.

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