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Stop and think: How to find legitimate concert or game tickets
Finding legitimate concert or game tickets can be a daunting task in the era of online ticket sales and resale markets. Scammers are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their tactics, making it crucial for consumers to take precautions to protect themselves from fraud. This article provides essential tips for spotting scams, ways to ensure the tickets bought are genuine, and steps to take if one falls victim to a ticket scam.
The Risks of Ticket Scams
Ticket scams pose significant risks to consumers, beyond just missing out on the event they purchased tickets for. If someone pays for a fraudulent ticket with their credit card, they could be compromising their personal information and putting themselves at risk of identity theft. In fact, the Better Business Bureau received 16,884 complaints regarding event ticket sales, including concerts and sporting events, between January 2022 and February 2023. Melanie McGovern, director of PR and social media at BBB, warns that falling for a ticket scam means losing not only money but also personal information while being unable to attend the desired event.
Tips for Spotting Scams
1. Logical Thinking
When it comes to buying tickets, it is essential to stop and think logically about what and who you are buying from. Emotions often play a significant role in ticket purchases, causing people to act impulsively and throw caution to the wind. To avoid falling for scams, it is crucial to approach ticket buying with a logical mindset.
2. Official Venue Sites
The safest option when buying tickets is to purchase directly from the official venue site. If you are searching for tickets to a game in your city, it is recommended to avoid any sponsored ticket listings that appear at the top of the search results page. Instead, scroll down until you find an official ticket broker or the venue’s site itself. McGovern advises steering clear of sponsored ticket listings as they are more likely to be fraudulent. Additionally, it is essential to check the website’s name for any minor misspellings, as scammers often create lookalike sites with intentional misspellings to deceive consumers.
3. Resale Market
If tickets from the official venue site are sold out, one may turn to the resale market. However, it is crucial to exercise caution to avoid falling victim to scams. To determine the legitimacy of a ticket broker, consumers should look up the seller on the National Association of Ticket Brokers (NATB) and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) websites. A legitimate ticket seller should have a customer protection policy and be registered with either the NATB, the BBB, or both. If the seller does not meet these criteria, it is advisable to consider it a red flag and look for another seller.
4. Seating Chart Verification
While browsing ticket options on secondary sites, it is recommended to have the seating chart of the venue open in another window. According to McGovern, one of the most apparent signs of a scam is when the seats being sold do not match up with the venue’s seats and rows. Comparing the available seats with the venue’s seating chart can help identify potential scams.
5. Physical Tickets vs. Digital Tickets
Many venues now primarily use digital tickets, which increases the risk of falling for counterfeit ticket Pdfs. To ensure the authenticity of tickets purchased from someone else, it is advisable to visit the venue a few days before the event and have the tickets checked. Additionally, it is crucial to familiarise oneself with the format in which the venue accepts and scans tickets. If someone sells a paper copy of a ticket, but the venue only accepts digital tickets, it is a clear indication of a scam.
6. Deals That Are Too Good to Be True
If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. McGovern warns against purchasing tickets from someone selling them well below market value or using a sob story to attract buyers. Online scammers often employ tactics that prey on emotions and rush consumers into making hasty decisions. It is essential to remain cautious and sceptical of such offers.
Protecting Yourself from Ticket Scams
In addition to the above tips for spotting scams, there are other measures one can take to protect themselves from falling victim.
1. Use a Credit Card for Purchases
McGovern recommends always using a credit card for ticket purchases, especially when buying from an individual online. Peer-to-peer payment apps may offer less secure forms of payment, and there is a higher chance of not receiving a refund if a scam occurs. Using a credit card provides an added layer of protection and increases the likelihood of recovering funds in case of fraud.
2. Report Scams to BBB
If one becomes a victim of a ticket scam, it is important to report it to the Better Business Bureau using the online complaint filing system. The BBB will send the complaint to the business involved, adhering to its complaint acceptance criteria. While this may not work for all scams, it is a valuable step in seeking resolution.
Securing legitimate concert or game tickets requires careful consideration and adherence to safety measures. By stopping to think logically, using official venue sites, verifying seat details, and avoiding deals that seem too good to be true, consumers can decrease the likelihood of falling for ticket scams. Additionally, using a credit card for purchases and reporting scams to the BBB provide added protection and potential avenues for resolution. With vigilance and awareness, concert and game-goers can outsmart scammers and ensure an enjoyable, scam-free experience.