Help Desk: Avoiding NFC Championship ticket scams

5:25 PM, Jan 14, 2013   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Falcons have advanced to the NFC Championship and will be hosting the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, January 20, at the Georgia Dome.

Tickets for Sunday's matchup are in high demand and have sold out online at, although suite options are still available.

Purchasing tickets online

With tickets in high demand, sports fans should be on the lookout for a rise in fraudulent tickets when turning to other online retailers like eBay, Craigslist or StubHub.

The Falcons issued the following guidelines regarding online counterfeit ticket sales last week:

The NFL Ticket Exchange is the only resale marketplace endorsed by the NFL, providing fans with the opportunity to purchase seats listed by Falcons season ticket holders or other fans. 

When buying from an individual or through other online exchanges, do not be lured away from the website by the seller.

Fans choosing to buy tickets through an online auction are advised to choose a seller with a long and continuous history of satisfied customers.

Fans should never pay with a cashier's check or wire money to the seller, as there may be no way to get money back if the tickets are not received. Fans are advised to pay with a credit card or through PayPal, which offer some amount of protection and potential reimbursement.

Many sellers will include pictures of the tickets with their posts on auction sites or message boards. Fans should scrutinize these tickets closely for any inaccuracies or alterations, and cross-check the seat assignment with the map on the Georgia Dome's website.

Purchasing tickets in person

While it is unlawful to resell or offer resell tickets for any price within 2,700 feet of the Georgia Dome, scalpers will attempt to sell tickets on game day to unsuspecting fans.

To thwart the attempts of scam artists to sell fraudulent tickets, the Falcons have designed tickets to include visible security devices. The devices include a foil stamped playoff logo, thermo chromic ink, and a high-gloss varnish.

Carefully scrutinize each ticket before you hand over any amount of money. If the tickets are missing one or all of the special security devices or appear dull in appearance, it would be wise to search elsewhere for tickets.

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