MILWAUKEE -- It's an exciting time for Milwaukee Bucks fans -- but that means it's also an exciting time for scammers. Avoid a playoffs rip-off with tips from the Wisconsin Better Business Bureau.
"You look around downtown, and everything is Bucks right now," said Jim Temmer, president and CEO of the Wisconsin Better Business Bureau. "Emotions are very high. Your team makes it to the playoffs, and maybe wins the first championship since what, 1971? You really want to be a part of it!"
Getting caught up in the hype can make it easy to get caught up in a scam.
"We get hundred of complaints to our ScamTracker every year about athletic tickets," explained Temmer.
If the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. The Better Business Bureau recommends buying tickets directly from the venue or an accredited ticket broker.
"If it's a scalper, maybe you ask to take a picture of their driver's license," suggested Temmer. "Or you say, 'Hey, can you walk me to the gate?' That way, you can tell if it's a legitimate ticket or not.
Once you do have tickets, resist the urge to brag.
"Don't put pictures of your ticket online," added Temmer.
Scammers can take those pictures and use them to trick somebody else.
"If you rely on the visual, it is easier to be scammed on social media," said Temmer.
Then there's the gear.
"You can't get that Bucks jersey for $20," said Temmer. "It's either going to be a complete knockoff, or you aren't going to get anything back in the mail. You're hurting the team, and you're hurting legitimate businesses."
Saving your green for the reputable vendors can make it easier to celebrate the "green" taking over Milwaukee.
"Don't make decisions with your emotions," said Temmer. "This town really gets behind its teams."
And if you have friends or family coming into town for the Bucks, the BBB says they can avoid hotel scams by calling directly instead of relying on online bookings.