Buyer Beware: How to Avoid Ticket Scams
You’ve found an upcoming event and you’re interested in buying tickets online (Awesome!). You search for tickets online and an ad comes up with tickets to the event. After putting in your information and picking your seats, you realize the tickets are OUTRAGEOUSLY priced. You think, “It’s more than I wanted to spend, but I really want to go.” You enter your credit card info, make your purchase and then… nothing. Now a scammer has your personal information, your credit card information and you may not even get your tickets.
Ticket selling scams happen when a scammer uses tickets as bait to steal your money. The scammer usually sells fake tickets or you pay for a ticket, but never receive it. They are common when tickets for popular concerts, plays, and sporting events sell out. Scammers, including individuals and fake resale companies, take advantage of the situation by:
- Charging prices much higher than the face value of a ticket
- Creating counterfeit tickets with forged barcodes and logos of real ticket companies
- Selling duplicates of a legitimate ticket and emailing it to several buyers.
- Pretending to sell tickets online to steal your credit card information
Here’s how you can combat ticket scammers and protect your personal and financial information:
- Buy tickets at the venue box office.
- Buy tickets from authorized brokers and third party sellers, with verified contact information. FireLake Arena’s authorized ticket sellers are TICKETFLY and STUBWIRE.
- Verify that the seller has a real physical addresses and phone numbers. Scammers often post fake addresses, PO Box, or no address on their websites.
- Check the actual web address of the resale ticket seller. Some scammers create phony websites that closely resemble authentic ticket company websites.
- Search for negative reviews about the seller. Use the seller’s name, email address, and phone number, along with the words “fraud,” “scams,” and “fake tickets” for your online search.
- Look at the tickets before you buy and verify the date and the time printed on them.
- Make sure the section and seat numbers on the tickets actually exist at the venue.
- Have the seller meet you in person in a public place for the ticket exchange.
- Ask the seller for proof that they bought the tickets, if you are buying from an individual.
- Use a credit card to pay third party sellers. Your credit card offers protections, if you need to dispute a charge.
- Check for complaints against a ticket seller with your state’s consumer protection agency.
- Don’t wire transfer money to pay for tickets.
- Don’t trust sellers who want you to pay with a prepaid money card.
- Don’t pay before seeing the tickets
- Don’t meet an individual ticket seller alone or in a low-traffic area.
- Don’t automatically trust online search results for ticket sellers. Search results can include paid ads, sellers that charge high fees, and scams.
Report Ticket Scams:
There are several options to report a ticket scam:
- Contact your state consumer protection office.
- Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) using the Online Complaint Assistant.
- File a local police report, especially if you met the scammer in person or have a picture of them to give the police.
- File a complaint about a ticket company using the Better Business Bureau’s Scam Tracker.
- If you paid by credit card, report the problem to the card company. You may be able to dispute the charge.