This year, the Super Bowl looks a little different than in years past. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of us haven’t had the opportunity to see our favorite sports teams play in person and gatherings surrounding the games have been sparse.
Super Bowl LV is only a few days away. On Sunday February 7th, the TEAM NAMES will fight to win Super Bowl LV. Whether you’re a sports buff, enjoy the advertisements, or hope to witness another halftime show that rivals Janet Jackson’s 2004 halftime show incident, Super Bowl LV promises to be an exciting time for American Football.
Here at Guardio, we want to make sure that the memories formed around Super Bowl LV are positive ones. Here are some of the most common scams that criminals use around the time of the Super Bowl.
Super Bowl LV Scams
If you have a preference toward the TEAM or TEAM, chances are that you’ll want to sport some gear to show support for your team. Unfortunately, this scramble to buy apparel and merchandise with short notice tends to catch many consumers off guard.
When team gear is in high demand, prices increase and popular items become hard to find. Scammers capitalize on this by creating websites. These websites are designed to appear legitimate. They may also use SEO techniques to rank highly in search engines and use advertising to make sure their websites are seen by potential victims. Once on these fake websites, scammers use a couple of different techniques to defraud their victims.
It’s common for brand new e-commerce websites to begin popping up promising the best prices and quickest shipping to help you prepare for the big game. Many of these websites claim that they offer Official NFL Merch, however, many consumers have been disappointed to find that what they received wasn’t official merch at all and was printed poorly and was of very low quality. In situations like these, counterfeit merchandise is often sent from overseas, making it difficult to return items or get in touch with the company to obtain a refund.
Phishing Scams & Merchandise that Never Arrives
Some of us just want to show off which team they’re rooting for, but don’t want to pay the high prices of the Official NFL Merch. Unofficial gear serves that purpose, but with so many new websites popping up and offering the lowest prices and quickest shipping, it’s tough to tell which sites are actually going to send your gear and which ones were created by criminals to capitalize on the excitement of the Super Bowl. Each year, many consumers using these popup temporary websites find that their merchandise never comes, they’re out the money that they paid, and in some cases, they later found that they became victim to identity theft.
FedEx issued a warning to their customers that criminals recently began sending fake tracking codes by SMS text and email and asking consumers to update their delivery preferences so that their packages can be delivered. With an increase in online purchasing and the rush to obtain merch before the big game, this scam is catching many consumers off guard. These links send unsuspecting victims to a fake FedEx settings page or Amazon survey, then prompt victims to enter their card information to verify their identity or to claim a “free” product as a “thank you for completing the survey”. FedEx reports that these text messages and emails are NOT legitimate and that customers should delete them unopened and report them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Super Bowl LIV Counterfeit Ticket Scams
How exciting would it be to watch the Super Bowl live and in person? Many of us dream of the opportunity. While it’s super tough to obtain a Super Bowl ticket during normal times, with the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, you have to be part of the elite to get your shot this year.
Nonetheless, this isn’t going to stop scammers from attempting to sell Super Bowl tickets to line their pockets. In years’ past, finding Super Bowl tickets on sale for less than Ticketmaster’s lowest price was a red flag, but this year, seeing a Super Bowl ticket for sale at any venue is a red flag.
How can I stay safe from Super Bowl Scams?
Make sure to purchase your Super Bowl LV tailgating gear, apparel, and merchandise directly from the NFL Shop.
Use browser protection to alert you when you’re visiting a website that hasn’t been around long enough to be trusted or that contains known malicious code and scams.
Always research companies you haven’t dealt with before. Check the BBB website to see if they have a business profile or BBB Scam Tracker to see if anyone else has reported them as a scam.
If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is.
When in doubt about a tracking number, email, or text that you received, do not use the link provided in the solicitation. Instead, go directly to the website belonging to the company or shipping agent you’re doing business with and verify the validity of the claim with them.