Buying Braves playoff tickets? Beware of scams

The Atlanta Braves are headed to the playoffs and, thanks to their first division title in years, will avoid the pain of last year’s one-game wildcard series.

The opponent, dates and times for home games in the upcoming five-game series are all still up in the air and, as of Wednesday, a decent number of tickets remained on the Braves’ official site. The Better Business Bureau, though, wants to make sure postseason ticket seekers don’t fall prey to second-hand sellers playing their own games.

Keep in mind that secondhand tickets may be expensive, but make sure to take the following precautions, as prescribed by the BBB:

— If you need to buy on the secondary market, try to by from a reseller authorized by the original ticket seller, the venue or the promoter. In the Braves’ case, that’s StubHub.com — Major League Baseball’s “official fan to fan ticket marketplace.” Tickets purchased here are guaranteed, and your credit card or PayPal information isn’t exposed to the seller.

StubHub isn’t a BBB accredited business, but has an A+ rating.

— Pay with a credit card whenever possible. This enables you to challenge charges later, if need be.

— Be especially cautious of scalpers outside the venue and examine tickets closely. Many tickets originally purchased online can be printed out and are pretty simple looking — look for signs the tickets may have been copied or otherwise faked; be wary of smeared print or uneven margins.

— If buying tickets in other online forums like Craigslist, ask for a picture of the tickets and verify it using the venue’s seating chart. Get the seller’s real name and contact information, as well as a receipt.

— Never wire money or use pre-loaded cards to purchase tickets.

— If you do fall victim to false tickets, be aware that the sale may have been just the tip of the iceberg — identity thieves are creative.

Tickets can be purchased from the Braves’ official site at AtlantaBraves.com.