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Beware of scammers selling fraudulent MN Vikings tickets, possessing such ticket could lead to arrest

Fans should proceed with caution before purchasing a Minnesota Vikings ticket online.

In wake of over 100 fraudulent tickets being sold at the latest Minnesota Vikings game, the football squad is teaming up with Minneapolis Police Department and Better Business Bureau urging their consumers to purchase tickets from reliable sellers. The only authorized sellers are Vikings Ticket Office, Ticketmaster and NFL TicketExchange. Outside purchases are at buyer’s risk.

US Bank Stadium
Home of the Minnesota Vikings the $1.1 billion multi-purpose US Bank Stadium, opened in 2016, will be the host site for Super Bowl LII February 4, 2018 in Minneapolis (photo: Gino Terrell).

These scams hit an uptic during Vikings final regular season game on New Year’s Eve.

“There were roughly 100 people who purchased fake tickets. They reached the gates and were told their tickets were invalid,” said Dan Hendrickson, communications manager of Better Business Bureau of Minnesota.

Typically, during the high demand rivalry of Vikings versus Green Bay Packers they see the most ticketing scams, according to Minnesota Vikings Executive Director of Communications Jeff Anderson. This year it has increased as the season went on.

“The number of counterfeit tickets directly correlate to season success,” Anderson said.

With Vikings hosting an NFC Divisional Playoff game Sunday, buyer’s should be on the lookout. For buyer’s information there’s only two valid types of tickets and they are digital tickets accessible through Vikings mobile app or printing 8.5” x 11” PDF tickets.

“Do not purchase a hardstock one. We don’t have those Vikings tickets,” Anderson said.

When it comes to purchasing tickets online its recommended to pay with credit card or PayPal as its possible to seek reimbursement with those options. It is not advised to wire money on Craigslist especially to people you don’t know, Hendrickson said.

Security measures will be tighter as Vikings host an NFC Divisional Playoff game, Sunday.

With security measures tighter anyone caught with a counterfeit ticket may not be allowed to enter the game and may be subject to an investigation. If someone manages to finesse their way into the stadium with a counterfeit ticket they will be ejected and possibly subject to arrest due to possessing a fraudulent ticket, however, that is a very unlikely scenario says Lieutenant Kim Lund of the Minneapolis Police Department.

The only way someone would get arrested was if they mouthed off they intentionally used a fraudulent ticket to get passed the gates, Lund said. With scams coming from a combination of ways through ticketing whether its online or in person, its best to use one of the three reliable sources, Lund said. In the case someone is purchasing a ticket off the street from a scalper here’s what they should do.

“Take a picture of them and have them walk you to the gate,” Lund said.

With fans aware of scams they are hoping they can avoid making risky purchases so they can enjoy the game as it’s the first time Vikings hosted a divisional playoff game since the 2009 season.

“Its a great time to be a Vikings fan and fans want to be a part of it,” Hendrickson said. “We decided the earlier [to inform people about scams] the better for everybody and hopefully Sunday evening there won’t be 100 people.”

By Gino Terrell

An earlier version of this article was published in Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.

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Gino Terrell is the Director of Content at Hidden Valley Culture Blog/In-Depth section. Terrell covered local artists and reviewed mainstream shows in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area under the Twin Cities Daily Planet (2014-15). He also freelanced for MinnPost and interned at Pioneer Press, KSTP TV (the Minneapolis ABC News Affiliate) and American Public Media Group. He's accumulated over 30 awards from the Associated Collegiate Press, Society of Professional Journalists and National Association of Black Journalists and founded award winning student-magazine Pipers In-Depth at Hamline University (St. Paul, Minnesota). He was once the sports editor for the school newspaper, The Oracle. Follow him on Twitter: @Gin026

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