The BBB reminds sports fans that scammers don't just try to steal people's identity, they also prey upon those who are urgently seeking sports tickets.

A number of Northwest residents have already been stung by scams.

With the Seahawk fever at an all-time high this season, officials say a number of people have already been scammed by fake playoff tickets. This also happens annually around Super Bowl time, but with the demand for 'Hawks seats, it's gotten worse.

Some tips from the Bureau on how to avoid getting scammed:

*Spot fake tickets - Most experienced fans know what a genuine ticket looks and feels like. Fakes are often printed on flimsy paper, the ink smears, and is often uneven on the ticket.

*Use reliable official sites when purchasing tickets - Don't go through unknown or 3rd-party sources. Craigslist and online ads may be great, but are often a red-flag for tickets - unless you can verify them in person.

*Never wire money for ticket purchases - Use credit cards, whose charges can be disputed if the tickets turn out to be fraudulent.

*Avoid sellers who don't have verified contact information - It might cost a little more, but try to use official ticket exchange sites such as Stub Hub, or NFL Ticket Exchange. The chances of fraud are much less at these sites.

If you're after Super Bowl tickets, there aren't many left to be sold, and most are starting around $3,000 with prices as high as $14K! Just be careful - you don't want to get burned badly and have a scammer ruin your football season. Same for 'Hawks tickets. If somebody claims they can get you into The Clink for $100 bucks, they're possibly bluffing.  We personally know a fan who sold his good-level Seattle tickets for the Saturday playoff game for $900 bucks!

Use good judgement, be careful.

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