We’ve all seen it; someone in a Facebook group posts about tickets to an event for sale and everyone starts commenting asking for more information. Then the comments change to warnings as multiple people report being scammed. Every day thousands of people get scammed out of money because they believe they are purchasing something of value when in reality, they are getting scammed. One of the most common scams on buyer and seller groups is the ticket scam. This is when a person posts they have tickets to “the big game” or a concert that has been sold out for weeks. Fans who missed out on the original ticket sales jump at the chance to get tickets for something they really enjoy. So, what’s the problem with buying a ticket online through social media? Many of the sellers are scammers wanting to defraud innocent people. Scammers are disguised as individuals or fake companies and even go to great lengths to create event pages mimicking the actual event page.
Here is how the scammers do it.
• The ticket seller is asking for a much higher price than the face value of the ticket.
• They want credit card information so they can steal your information.
• They duplicate the tickets and sell them to multiple people.
• They create counterfeit tickets that look real but are actually worthless.
• They ask for deposits upfront to “hold’ the ticket and then disappear.
• They ask for payment with a prepaid gift card.
• They ask you to meet them alone in a low-traffic area so they can commit criminal activities such as robbery or worse.
• They create fake websites that can be found in search engines. They even pay for advertising so their sites look legitimate.
Here are some tips for buying tickets.
• Buy tickets whenever possible directly from the venue or box office.
• Verify sellers and know who you are working with. All sellers should have a physical address that is not a PO Box and it should be listed on their website.
• Check the web address to verify it is not a fake site designed to look real.
• Check for complaints about the sellers online. Search for reviews and ask around in social media groups.
• Use a credit card to purchase from a third-party. Credit card companies offer protections in order to dispute a charge.
• Have the seller meet you in a public place and take a friend or family member.
• Look for red flags such as imperfect English, unusual phrases and uncommon grammar mistakes.
• Only used authorized third-party ticket sellers and brokers with verifiable information.
As always, if you believe you are being scammed, please warn others in the social media group and report all issues to the social media company. Report fraud to the Federal Trade Commission online at https://reportfraud.ftc.gov or your local authorities.