Churchill Downs official says beware of Derby scams - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Churchill Downs official says beware of Derby scams

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Betting on the wrong horse is not the only way to lose your money on Derby weekend.

In some cases, scammers are able to cash in on the Oaks and Derby.

It happens every year. People are looking for deals to get into the track, but it is always buyer beware when it comes buying tickets to The Kentucky Oaks and Derby.

"When my husband said, 'What would you like to do,' I said, 'I would really love to go to the Kentucky Derby'," said Debbie Reeve, during a 2014 interview with WDRB News.

A few years ago, Bill and Debbie Reeves learned a painful and expensive lesson about buying Kentucky Derby tickets online.

Bill Reeves said, "My wife looked it up and found it on the Internet and it looked like a reputable site and we paid $2,900 for the initial package."

The couple is from St. Louis and purchased the tickets online, but never got what they paid for.

"It happens every year -- that somebody shows up at our gates -- and usually several people show up at our gates -- when they have purchased a ticket somewhere that is, that is ah, not violate," said John Asher, Vice President of Communications for Churchill Downs.

Asher said online scams aren't the only way people lose money on Oaks and Derby tickets. "So some people will come here for a part of the day and they will walk out and they will sell their tickets to somebody on the street."

In that case, the tickets are real, but they're also useless because the track does not allow re-entry on Derby weekend. "And they come to the door and they can't get in," explained Asher.

If you are still looking for tickets, Asher recommends using a new program called Kentucky Derby Resale. He said, "It is actually a fan-to-fan ticket exchange, with Churchill Downs and ticket master serving as a middle person."

WDRB checked the website and there are still tickets available.

"And the great thing about buying tickets there is that we verify the authenticity of the ticket, if you buy a ticket anywhere else, you can not verify the authenticity," said Asher.

"If you are going to buy last minute derby tickets, do it from reputable sources," said Reanna Smith-Hamblin, President-Elect of the Better Business Bureau.

Smith-Hamblin said you should also avoid buying tickets on Craigslist. "That's where we see a lot of the scams because on Craigslist, anyone can get on there and sell tickets."

You can always buy general admission tickets at the door on the day of the event.

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