Hoosiers, visitors warned of scams ahead of Indy 500

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill wants Hoosiers to be wary of scams this upcoming Memorial Day weekend and ahead of the Indianapolis 500.

You don't want to enter the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on race day just to find out your ticket is not real.

“High profile events, sporting events like the Indy 500 are prime targets for scammers,” said Chris Proffitt with the Office of the Indiana Attorney General’s Office.

Scammers are always finding new and improved ways to steal your money.

“All the way down to watermarks and seals that they put on these tickets, 3D seals, it’s really difficult to tell the difference,” said Proffitt.

The Indiana Attorney General’s Office wants you to be steps ahead of the scammer. Proffitt says when it comes to ticket purchases, be smart where you buy.

“Buy from a trusted source,” explained Proffitt. “Buy from a trusted vendor or buy from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway website itself. Avoid these online opportunities for discounted tickets.”

The Town of Speedway is taking a proactive approach in making sure you’re protected from scammers. So far, they’ve sold 65 permits. A vendor or seller outside the track is required to have the official 2019 purple badge in order to sell you tickets, merchandise, food, etc. The badge stands out and will include a picture ID with the persons name on it. Code enforcement will be on the lookout for people without the badge, that means they’re not official and you should stay away.

“You’re really taking a big risk and that risk comes when you’re denied entry into the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the 500,” said Proffitt.

Scammers aren’t just targeting how you get into the track, but your entire weekend. Real Estate Broker Rachel Prince says racegoers should watch out for fake rental properties and even homeowners need to be on alert.

“I would say the best way to protect the homeowner needs to screen their guests to make sure they’re verified. Through Air B&B you can do this,” said Prince. “With some of the other vocational rental properties you may need to ask for a driver’s license.”

The counterfeit check scam is among the most commonly reported to the Office of the Attorney General. Proffitt says to avoid rental scams always pay by credit card for all online transactions. If the listing is fake, you can file a dispute with your credit card provider and receive a refund within 90 days.

“They’re posing a perspective renter at the time and they offer to pay above the list price. That’s a dead give-away right there,” said Proffitt.

These important reminders that will have you racing into Memorial Day weekend, instead of stalling out before the finish line.

“If it’s too good to be true, it usually is too good to be true, said Proffitt.

If you believe you were a victim of a scam you can report it to the Office of the Attorney General.

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