Friday, September 25, 2009

Oh, and Make Sure Your Tickets Are Legitimate

As if the would-be traveler to the 2010 World Cup didn't already have enough to worry about ...

Apparently, cyberspace is rife with people and sites keen to sell bogus World Cup tickets to football fans.

The Times of London today reported that New Scotland Yard has "closed more than 100 sites so far" that were trying to cheat fans eager to buy tickets to the event in South Africa next year.

Taking money and returning fake tickets -- or not even that.

The Times writes that "FIFA executives fear that these fraudsters are only the pioneers of an internet crimewave that will become more severe as the World Cup approaches.

"It is not only English fans who stand to suffer ... but thousands more around the world, with South Africa expecting up to 500,000 supporters from the 32 participating nations.

"FIFA has no precise figures, but it is thought that thousands of fans may already have handed over money for tickets that do not exist. But New Scotland Yard's cyberpolice ... are thought to have saved many more from parting with their cash and are leading the chase to make sure South Africa is not flooded next year with supporters holding worthless tickets and with no games to go to."

Let's put down a few simple ground rules, if you plan to buy tickets.

--If a ticket deal seems too good to be true, it is. Show some personal responsibility here.

--Unless you are buying from the authorized FIFA site, be very careful. Make sure the purveyor is a recongized, established tour operator or ticket broker. (And even then ...)

--Caveat emptor. Let the buyer beware.

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