The Boston Celtics are in the NBA Finals for the first time since 2012, as Boston Police issue a warning about buying fake tickets in the secondary market.

With a 100-96 win over the Miami Heat in game 7 of their series, the Celtics will take on the Golden State Warriors in the quest for their 18th NBA championship. Tickets went on sale Monday via Ticketmaster for games 3, 4, and 6, which will be played at TD Garden.

In the rush to find tickets, some fans may try unfamiliar ticket brokers that can wind up being an expensive mistake.

Boston Police on Monday encouraged fans to buy their tickets from authorized ticket agencies. Otherwise, buying from a secondary source is a risky proposition.

"Officers want to proactively curb such activity and encourage buyers to only purchase from official vendors. Purchasing via other means creates the potential for possessing an invalid and/or counterfeit ticket," Boston Police said in a statement.

Police asked anyone with information about selling counterfeit tickets to call the CrimeStoppers Tip Line at 1-800-494-TIPS or texting the word ‘TIP’ to CRIME (27463).

Game 1 between the Celtics and Warriors is Thursday in San Francisco.

The Better Business Bureau offers some tips when buying tickets to sporting events and concerts.

  • Purchase from the venue whenever possible. Many official ticket sales agents now offer secondary sales options, as well.
  • Consider your source. Know the difference between a professional ticket broker (a legitimate and accredited reseller), a ticket scalper (an unregulated and unlicensed ticket seller), and a scammer selling scam tickets.
  • Check out the seller/broker. Look them up on BBB.org to learn what other customers have experienced. Check to see if they are a member of the National Association of Ticket Brokers. NATB members offer a 200% purchase guarantee on tickets. Look up the seller on VerifiedTicketSource.com to confirm you are buying from an NATB-member resale company.
  • Buy only from trusted vendors. Buy online only from vendors you know and trust. Look for the lock symbol in the web address to indicate a secure purchasing system. Don’t click through from emails or online ads; a common ticket scam trick is to create a web address that is similar to a well-known company.
  • Know the refund policy. You should only purchase tickets from a ticket reseller that provides clear details about the terms of the transaction. Sellers should disclose to the purchaser, prior to purchase, the location of the seats represented by the tickets, either orally or by reference to a seating chart; and, if the tickets are not available for immediate access to the purchaser, disclose when the tickets will ship or be available for pick up.
  • Use payment methods that come with protection. Always use a credit card so you have some recourse if the tickets are not as promised. Debit cards, wire transfer or cash transactions are risky; if the tickets are fraudulent, you won’t be able to get your money back.
  • Be wary of advertisements. When you search the web for online tickets, advertisements for cheap tickets will often appear. Use good judgment; some of these ads are going to be ticket scams, especially if the prices are low.
  • If you’re unsure, verify your tickets. Pay a visit to the arena where the event will be held. Present your ticket to “Will Call” (customer service) and they can verify if your ticket is legitimate and show you how to tell if a ticket is fake.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

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