LOUISVILLE, Ky. — All eyes are on Kentucky for one of the most prestigious horse racing events in the world. The Kentucky Derby returns for its 148th running on Saturday, May 7, and that means scammers are likely looking for ways to make a quick buck (or several).

What You Need To Know

  • Derby season is in full swing, and many people are looking for last-minute tickets

  • BBB Louisville offered several tips to avoid Derby scams

  • Buying from licensed ticket sellers and only using a credit card are the two best ways to avoid scams

  • Counterfeit Derby merchandise is also a problem as Derby approaches

The Better Business Bureau in Louisville said there's always an uptick in scams leading up to and during the Kentucky Derby, so they're urging caution for all who are still looking for tickets.

If you still need some infield tickets or some Derby merch, here are some things to consider.

If it's too good to be true, it probably is

With many people trying to secure last-minute seats online through sites like Facebook Marketplace or other third-party sellers, BBB Louisville is urging people to be cautious and remain realistic.

The Kentucky Derby is a world-renowned event, so if someone is selling box seats to Churchill Downs with parking included for $100, it's safe to say that's a scam. 

While you can get great deals from brokers and auction sites, the BBB says sales are not always guaranteed to be authentic through those vendors.

Only buy from licensed sellers

The safest way to secure your Derby tickets is through licensed ticket vendors like TicketMaster, SeatGeek and Vivid Seats. Official Derby and Oaks tickets can be found on the Kentucky Derby website.

If you're buying secondhand tickets, it's best to know the person you're buying from.

Avoid app payments and wire transfers

Use a credit card whenever possible. Sellers insisting you pay through wire transfers, Venmo or CashApp are likely to be running a scam.

Paying with a credit card helps in the event you need to dispute a fraudulent charge.

"If you realize that you’ve gotten a bad deal or you’ve been scammed you can then dispute that transaction right and hopefully you can get that money back," said Whitney Adkins, marketing director for BBB Louisville. "You have those protections in place with a credit card which is why a Better Business Bureau we are strongly recommending folks to pay for really anything with a credit card."

Look out for counterfeits

Fake tickets aren't the only thing to worry about during Derby season. Counterfeit Derby merchandise is also a huge issue, the BBB said.

Only purchase Kentucky Merchandise right from the source, or through reputable sellers with plenty of authentic reviews.


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