Bears warn of spike in counterfeit playoff tickets and ticket scams

The Chicago Bears are warning fans to beware of scams and counterfeits as they try to get their hands on a playoff ticket.

Some fans are paying hundreds of dollars for worthless tickets.

With the Bears headed to the playoffs in a season that has surprised and delighted Bears fans, there is only one drawback.

"With success comes more fraud,” said Lee Twarling, Bears VP of Sales.

Twarling sees it firsthand. He's the vice president of ticket sales for the Bears and he's warning fans about a spike in ticket scams and counterfeit tickets.

FOX 32: "How much money are people being scammed for?"

"Oh, we'll see it in the high thousands,” Twarling said. "When folks show up on game day, and there’s nothing worse than when they're standing at the gate and that ticket scans invalid."

Twarling says it happened more than a hundred times when the Bears played the Packers and the Patriots at Soldier Field. The biggest problem is tickets sold on social media and on sites like Craigslist, which are often counterfeits or stolen tickets which have been invalidated.

And just because the seller is willing to meet in person, that doesn't mean its legit.

"They're not afraid to meet up with you and give you a cell number. They'll try to give you that assurance that you can call if there's a problem. But as quickly as they get around the corner that cellphone goes dead and they can't be found,” Twarling said.

He says your best bet to get playoff tickets is to go to the Bears website.

"And when you start there you're gonna buy a ticket from a validated authorized channel. And you'll have success. Otherwise you really put yourself at risk,” Twarling said.

And one other piece of advice: If you’re lucky enough to get a playoff ticket, don't put a picture of that ticket showing the bar codes on social media. Otherwise someone can steal those codes and turn your ticket treasure into ticket trash.