[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/11/08/art.boclosein1108.gi.jpg caption="Tickets to Obama's historic inauguration are free - even though they are already being offered online for thousands of dollars."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Organizers of the 56th Presidential Inauguration are warning consumers to be skeptical of tickets being offered for sale online to President-Elect Barack Obama's swearing-in ceremony.
With 73 days to go, tickets are already appearing on the Internet with a hefty price tag. On eBay, 18 bidders have driven up one pair to more than $1,000. One Web site, Inauguraltickets.com, is inviting members of the public to place orders, warning "Our prices will reflect the difficulty in obtaining" tickets. Another site, Dreamtix, is offering a variety of seats ranging from $1,400 to $21,000 a pop.
Watch: Inaugural tickets already for sale on the Web
Carole Florman, Communications Director for the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, says "anyone claiming to have tickets to sell right now, or saying that they will guarantee tickets, is not telling the truth." Florman told CNN the 240,000 free tickets to the swearing-in ceremony are currently in a "secure location" and will not be handed out until a few days before. Tickets to the Inaugural Parade and official balls will be handled by a Presidential Inaugural Committee, which has yet to be formed.
The inaugural committee Web site advises members of the public wishing to attend to contact their members of Congress or U.S. Senator and ask to be put on the list for tickets.
An employee answering the phone at Dreamtix.com would give no comment to CNN about their tickets on offer. Karl Roes, the owner of Inauguraltickets.com, told CNN the site buys and sells tickets on the "secondary market" and, while they are taking orders, "we are not claiming we have tickets" at this time.