NCAA Tournament basketball is coming to Salt Lake and so are the ticket scams

Mar 20, 2024, 11:38 PM | Updated: Mar 21, 2024, 6:35 am

SALT LAKE CITY — March Madness is coming to Utah — in person. Salt Lake City’s Delta Center is once again hosting some of the NCAA Tournament men’s basketball games this week. While this is exciting news for college basketball fans, online security wonks are nervous.

“You’re going to find fake betting sites — fake tickets to hard-to-get games,” said cybersecurity expert Chris Drake, a senior vice president at telecommunications firm, iconectiv.

Fans will find the tickets to see a match here, aren’t cheap. For all games, it will cost you around $500 to walk in the door. Scammers often target folks looking for a deal. That’s something Drake says scammers will use to their advantage.

“There’s no question,” he said. “Whether it’s Christmas and a rare toy that suddenly you can find at a good price, or it’s tickets to March Madness.”

This week’s tournament matches are reminiscent of the NBA All-Star game in Utah in February 2023, when some Utahns told us they got ripped off.

Jenny Williams turned to KSL Classifieds in search of two tickets. It was only after she paid $1,000 that she learned those tickets were bogus.

“Never heard from him again, once he had the money,” Williams said of the con artist.

She ultimately got to go after an executive with the Utah Jazz saw our story and gave her and her family some seats. But obviously, most people who get scammed will not be so fortunate.

Lehi woman loses $1,000 in NBA All-Star Game tickets scam

Drake said even if you don’t send money to a scammer, simply clicking through a hacker’s bogus ticket resell site can leave fans exposed.

“Don’t download attachments and text messages,” he warned. “Don’t click on unknown links.”

How do you make sure the tickets you’re buying are legitimate? Experts say the best thing to do is buy direct from the source. If those tickets are gone, established and reputable ticket-resellers, such as Vivid Seats, Ticketmaster, StubHub and SeatGeek can be good options.

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NCAA Tournament basketball is coming to Salt Lake and so are the ticket scams