Any time there is a big sporting event in town, it’s an opportunity for thieves to target sports fans. From scoring tickets to finding the best parking, Houston police want you to be careful about the upcoming Astros playoff game.
“We are looking for those that would be perpetrating scams,” Officer Matt Slinkard, Executive Chief Houston Police Department.
How to tell if game day tickets are fake
You’ll see Astros tickets for sale on places like Craigslist and on other re-sell websites. Some sellers may be legit but others are not. The Better Business Bureau shares a few red flags to look out for to make sure you don’t buy a fake ticket.
- Check out the seller or broker. You can look up sellers on Verifiedticketsource.com to confirm they are members of the National Association of Ticket Brokers. NATB members offer purchase guarantees on tickets.
- Closely inspect the ticket websites. When looking for tickets, don’t click through from online ads. One common trick thieves use is to create web addresses similar to a well-known company.
- Payment protection. Use a credit card to make the purchase, you may have buyer protection.
- Don’t be afraid to ask the seller for details. If it’s just a regular person selling tickets - ask to see the invoice for when *they* paid for the tickets and ask to see the front and back of the ticket and make sure both sides appear real.
- Beware of odd payment requests. Don’t buy if the seller is asking you to pay using a prepaid card or wire transfer.
If you need to get the paper ticket from someone HPD encourages meeting at a police station parking lot. You can see more about what HPD says about “Safe transactions” here.
Warning about downtown Houston parking lot thieves
Houston police also warn about parking lots around Minute Maid Park.
“Make sure you are thinking through where you are parking legitimately, who you are giving your money to - be safe about that,” said Officer Slinkard.
There have been cases in the past where people paid money to a man who was posing as a parking lot attendant at the lot. When they later returned to the lot, their vehicles were booted and they had to pay nearly $120 to get it removed.
Your best bet is to map out a few parking locations before you get downtown. You can prebook spots at Minute Maid if you reserve in time.
Websites like Park Mobile and Park Me help find available parking lot locations. You can also try parking in open spots around Discovery Green. As always, we will bring you the latest Astros news as we get it!