BALTIMORE - We know how badly you want to go to the Super Bowl. But if you think you've found a deal on seats, it could be a scam. In fact, even tickets at market price could be the work of a counterfeiter.
Robert Meekins holds in his hands what many in Baltimore now consider a rare treasure. The Carroll County resident has tickets to Super Bowl 47. He says, "They're in the upper deck, in the end zone"
Meekins may be watching from the nose bleed section when the Ravens take on San Francisco, but they're seats many fans are desperate to find. Die-hard fans will pay anything to be in New Orleans for the big game, according to Bill Patterson, Vice President of Global Licensing for OpSec Security. He says, "The value of the tickets and the demand for those tickets goes really through the roof."
Patterson says the efforts of scammers also intensify on the approach to the Super Bowl. They know you want tickets and they'll spend the next few days faking them to get your money. Patterson explains, "The counterfeiters are probably going to spend the most amount of time trying to nail down the artwork that's on the tickets."
It is Patterson's job to make that tougher. OpSec, the company he works for, helped create the security features on those golden tickets. He says, "We want the counterfeiters to go through hoops and barrels in order to try and replicate it. The harder we make it, the better job we do for the league."
Patterson can't talk specifics about what's done for obvious reasons. But he can help you spot the fakes. He says counterfeit tickets may have coloring that's off or faded. Patterson says fakes may also have wavy edges that have been hand-cut.
Patterson says that if you're still looking for tickets, you should stick with reputable sellers like the NFL and its partners. He says you should be wary of peer-to-peer internet sales because there is a high potential of scam activity. Patterson also says you should be very cautious if you're considering buying tickets from a scalper on-site, especially considering the Super Bowl is not just an average game anyone can get tickets for, "You first have to question yourself, why is someone going to the open street, holding a ticket up in the air and offering it for sale, for cash to anybody that's walking by. It's just an unusual situation."
Robert Meekins wouldn't sell his tickets for the world. They're worth way more than money. He wants the memory of being part of this game, "We're going to New Orleans, going with the Ravens and coming home with the Lombardi trophy."