ATHENS, Ga. --- You might want to take a good look at those football tickets before you buy them from a scalper Saturday.
They might be counterfeit, according to a warning issued this week by University of Georgia officials as the Bulldogs head toward Saturday's showdown with Auburn.
A North Carolina woman paid a scalper $200 for four phony tickets to last week's UGA homecoming game with Troy University, according to UGA police.
The Troy University tickets were supposedly from a Ticketmaster outlet, but UGA doesn't use Ticketmaster, said Matt Brachowski, an assistant athletic director for event management.
It was the first time this year that anyone had complained to UGA police about a ticket rip-off, but it might not be the last of the season.
"For many of the big games we host, that's a concern," Mr. Brachowski said.
The last time Auburn played in Athens, in 2005, Athens-Clarke police charged three men with forgery after seizing 20 counterfeit tickets for the game during a traffic stop.
Saturday's sold-out game with Auburn qualifies as a big game. Tenth-ranked Georgia and 18th-ranked Auburn both need to win the game to keep alive their hopes of playing in the Southeastern Conference championship game Dec. 1 in the Georgia Dome.
The bogus tickets the woman bought had blue and yellow markings -- nothing like the red, black, white and silvery foil markings on a UGA ticket, but the woman didn't know that until too late.
UGA football tickets are printed with a silver G that's a hologram, Mr. Brachowski said. The hologram is there because it's hard to counterfeit, he said.
Real tickets to games also do not have the time listed on them because tickets are printed before the season begins, when kickoff times have not been set.
Athletic officials also warned fans not to buy media credentials or other passes.
Media passes are not for sale, so they are likely to be either forgeries or stolen.
Crooks have sold tickets that were already torn; some scalpers have also sold tickets for games that had already been played, said UGA police Capt. Lisa Boone.