Chicago Bears fans are currently vibrating with excitement about Sunday's NFC Championship Game that pits the Bears against our ultimate rivals: the Green Bay Packers.
In some cases, fans are shelling out up to $15,000 for a ticket to the game on StubHub, according to Forbes.
A limited amount of tickets to the game went up for sale on Ticketmaster Tuesday at 2 p.m., but by 2:12 p.m., tickets were already unavailable on the site.
While fans go elsewhere to find tickets, Attorney General Lisa Madigan is warning them to beware of playoff ticket scams online.
In a release, Madigan offered the following tips:
* If dealing with a ticket broker, determine whether the broker is a member of the National Association of Ticket Brokers (www.natb.org) and the Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.org). Both organizations have membership standards that promote ethical business conduct.
* If dealing with an Illinois ticket broker, consumers can contact the Illinois Secretary of State's Index Department in Springfield to ensure that the broker is properly registered. Illinois law requires ticket brokers meet certain requirements, including maintaining a toll-free telephone number and a consumer rebate fund.
* Avoid paying cash for tickets in person from a stranger as the tickets may be counterfeit. Consumers should deal only with a seller who accepts credit card payments or other secure payment methods. Consumers are urged not to buy tickets from an unsecured website. Consumers should also be wary of online escrow sites, especially those recommended by a seller. If an escrow site is suggested, the consumer should independently investigate whether the site is legitimate.
* When buying online, consumers should always note whether they are buying tickets at face value. Consumers also should familiarize themselves with the policies of the venue where the event is being held to determine whether the consumer must have actual ticket in hand, or whether the venue has a mechanism for paperless tickets to gain admission.
* Most importantly, consumers should never wire any payment to a seller for any reason. Buyers may be told that they will receive special-event tickets after wiring money to an unknown seller. In many of these instances, the consumer becomes a victim of fraud.
"Football fans need to be careful if they buy tickets online," Madigan said in a statement. "Don't get so caught up in the excitement of the playoffs that you wind up the victim of a con artist cheating you out of a lot of money."
In any case, Bears fans are excited--and willing to shell out an average of $900 per ticket for Sunday's game, which kicks off in Chicago at 2 p.m.