With the Toronto Argonauts competing for Canadian football’s top prize on their home turf, passes to next Sunday’s Grey Cup centennial are arguably the hottest ticket in town.

Online marketplaces such as eBay and Kijiji are flooded with tickets for the big game against the Calgary Stampeders.

Some sellers have a pair of tickets to see the game at the Rogers Centre listed in the neighbourhood of $1,000 and more.

But when it comes to purchasing Grey Cup tickets on the Internet, a detective with Toronto Police Services warns that it’s “buyer beware” as the game’s popularity leaves fans vulnerable to scams.

“With the Grey Cup coming up, there will be fraudsters trying to sell tickets for it. There’s no doubt in my mind,” Detective Alan Spratt told CTV Toronto.

One advertisement posted on eBay advertised Grey Cup tickets in “Section 125, Row 12” for $370. But a closer look at the posting reveals that the ad is actually for Grey Cup parking passes.

That information, however, isn’t shown until web surfers scroll down.

A disclaimer at the bottom of the advertisement typed in small red font even warns potential buyers that the seller will not shoulder any responsibility for misunderstandings:“This is a parking pass only. This is NOT an event ticket and will NOT grant you access to the event. We Are Not Responsible For Your Failure To Read The Full Listing Description,” it reads.

CTV Toronto showed the advertisement to Isabelle Sauve, an investigator with the Toronto police fraud squad, who called the posting a “misleading representation.”

Earlier this week, eBay assigned a “red flag” to the advertisement to warn potential buyers. The posting has since been removed from the website entirely.

Actual tickets to the Grey Cup centennial are plastic and rectangular in shape, with corners rounded off like playing cards. Images of football players appear on the front in muted colours.

Tips to avoid falling victim to a potential ticket scam:

  • Be wary of using wire transfers
  • Always read an online posting from top to bottom
  • Kijiji recommends purchasing event tickets in person
  • Toronto police advise that when using PayPal, don’t go through the seller’s link to the site, as a fraudster could easily redirect you to a fake PayPal account.

With a report from CTV Toronto’s Austin Delaney