Ticket Scams: When the Price of Admission Is Too High

11 Feb Ticket Scams: When the Price of Admission Is Too High

Concert, sporting, and other event tickets can go for astronomical prices — when they are even available. Hoping to find reasonably priced tickets (or to find tickets at all), many consumers turn to the online resale market. And while most resale transactions are legitimate, some involve ticket scammers. Buy from one of these sellers and you may end up with stolen or counterfeit tickets.

Playing defense

Ticket scams generally succeed because they exploit a common desire to bag a bargain or gain access to something that is not easily obtainable. However, you can avoid getting tricked. Here is how:

Buy direct. Whenever possible, buy first-release or secondary market tickets from the event’s official ticketing agent. The ticket may cost more but buying from a reputable agent comes with peace of mind.

Look out for crooks. Ticket scammers often use spam email and fake websites to impersonate legitimate ticketing agents. Do not click on links contained in unsolicited emails and do not buy tickets from sites until you have researched their authenticity. Plug the ticket agent’s name into search engines and look at the agent’s social media accounts. Pay close attention to how the agent interacts with customers and handles disputes.

Ask questions. When buying from individuals, ask them to disclose how they received the tickets and why they want to sell them. If their story sounds suspicious, look elsewhere.

Verifying & reporting

It is only when they are turned away on game or concert day that many ticket scam victims learn they have been conned. So, if you have any doubts about your tickets’ legitimacy, call or present them at the venue’s box office for confirmation as early as possible.

And if you have indeed been sold stolen or counterfeit tickets, notify law enforcement and report the incident to the Federal Trade Commission. You may not get your money back, but you will help prevent criminals from fleecing other unsuspecting ticket buyers. You can protect yourself from losing money on ticket scams by buying tickets only from agents that accept credit cards. In the event of fraud, most credit card issuers will refund the cost of your tickets and pursue collection with the seller.