Ticket selling scams happen when a scammer uses tickets as bait to steal your money or personal information. The scammer usually sells fake tickets where you likely find out it is fake at the venue 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. It is all about supplies and demand. Scammers can charge higher because people are willing to pay more for them.
- Creating counterfeit tickets with forged barcodes and logos of real ticket companies. Some do a fantastic job with counterfeit you cannot tell unless you compare the real ticket side by side.
- Selling duplicates of a legitimate ticket and emailing it to several buyers. The ticket is real but the first one to use it will get in and the rest of the buyers will lose.
- Pretending to sell tickets online to steal your credit card information. Not only do you lose your money but you risk potential future scam.
- Of course if you can purchase your tickets through venue box office. If it is sold out, try authorized brokers and third party sellers with verified contact information. Be wary with seller’s contact information and check to see if that is real addresses. Use a search engine and type in the actual web address to ensure it is from the authentic ticket company website. Search for negative reviews about the seller, you can search for their contact information with the word “scam”, “fraud”, and “fake tickets” to see if there are other complaints. If possible, try to pay with your credit card. That way if it is a scam you might have some protection there if you need to dispute a claim.
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.