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Local victim shares March Madness scam experience

Local victim shares March Madness scam experience

TRI-CITIES,Wash. -- It's that exciting time of year- brackets and college basketball championships. It’s also time when scammers are taking away from the fun and stealing your cash.

Action News spoke with a local fan who thought he bought great seats only to find out he'd been tricked.

“It was a good eye opening experience,” said local college basketball fan Matt Cronwrath.

Kronwrath's not talking about the NCAA tournament games he paid $500 dollars to see. It's a scam that put the mad in this Gonzaga fan's March Madness experience.

“You know you're always used to going hearing that click and seeing that green light when they scan your ticket,” said Cronwrath, adding “When it goes the other way you don't know how that could happen.”

Kronwrath says he was so close he could hear the excitement, but then he took a devastating blow.

“The next person you are talking to is someone with a headset on and they are like no that's not a ticket and your like wow that's a bummer!”

What Kronwrath thought was a good deal on Craigslist turned out to be a steal of a deal he lost: a scammer stealing his money.

The Better Business Bureau says he's not the only victim.

“You just want to make sure you are doing your research and you’re not just going for a ticket with a low price because if it seems too good to be true it usually is,” said the Better Business Bureau Northwest’s Marketplace Manager Anna Bruggeman.

The BBB says scammers have a frenzy with college basketball fans: from brackets to big game tickets, so watch where you’re throwing your money.

“Eliminate the competition, you want to go to the NCAA official site and get your tickets,”said Brugeman

Defense wins championships at home with your brackets too. The BBB says fill them out or print them directly from the NCAA website. Also, avoid pop-up adds asking you to type in passwords and download software.

If you do fall for any pop ups while filling out your bracket, the BBB says there are some lines of defense.

First, disconnect from the internet right away and stop using any online baking or sites that store personal info. Next, restart your computer and update your security software so you can scan for viruses.

“It's kind of one of those learning experience I guess,” said Cronwrath.

Playing smart for the best of the best basketball experience.

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