Trying to get tickets for the next big concert or world series game? Be careful who and where you buy from.
Sadly, a process that should be filled with excitement and anticipation all too often ends in disappointment and deception. Event ticket scams are common in the United States. With the number of online scammers on the rise, here are the top ways to make sure that you don’t get scammed the next time you’re buying event tickets.
Check The Price And Payment Method
When ticket prices are far higher or suspiciously lower than the recommended retail price, that should be a cause for concern.
Cheap tickets should lead you to question their authenticity as the tickets may well be part of a scam.
Limited payment method options are also a helpful way to spot a scam.
When only specific payment methods are accepted, this should be a warning sign. When you are told to pay via one method such as cryptocurrency, a gift card, cash, or, when credit cards aren’t accepted, you should query as to why this is the case. Try and always make use of payment methods that come with protection. Credit cards are recommended as then you have recourse if the tickets aren’t quite as promised.
Using a credit card gives you the best chance of getting your money back.
All legitimate tickets should contain a detailed refund policy.
You as the buyer have the right to know if a refund is possible and what terms and conditions are included. A vague or absent refund policy means that the seller is unaware of the details and could be selling you fake tickets.
It’s a good idea to study some examples of refund policies to learn how to spot a genuine one. Furthermore, If the tickets aren’t available immediately, the seller should be able to give you the exact information as to how and when you will be able to access your tickets.
Check The Contact Details
When buying tickets online, it’s always recommended to check the seller’s contact details.
Start by checking if a legitimate contact number is in use. A landline is recommended as it is easier to trace. Mobile numbers and PO boxes are risky as they are far more difficult to trace. Scammers can change mobile numbers and PO box numbers easily.
Are They Registered?
It’s also good to check if the seller is registered as part of a ticket brokering or seller association.
Check if the seller is part of one of the following associations:
- Secure Tickets for Authorized Retailers (STAR)
- National Association of Ticket Brokers (NATB)
- International Ticketing Association (ITA)
Remember that just because the seller isn’t listed as a part of one of these associations doesn’t mean that they are a scam. But if they aren’t it should give you more reason to be cautious before buying.
Beware Of A Sense Of Urgency
Another tactic that scammers use is to create a sense of urgency around a ticket sale.
They may tell you that you need to buy the tickets now before they are sold out. At the same time, they fail to provide substantial information about the event. This should raise a red flag as legitimate sellers will always be well briefed on what they are selling you.
Check The Language And Profile
You can get a feel of the authenticity of a sale by the language that’s used in the advertising and correspondence with the seller.
Be on the lookout for poor grammar from sellers. For example, a line that says: ‘ticket for sale at cheaper and better price’ should raise a red flag as it doesn’t read well. Also, be on the lookout for poor language patterns that can be a giveaway.
Scammers often try to sell via direct messaging (DM) such as texting as opposed to more traceable communication methods. Be sure to also check out the seller’s profile to see if there are biographical details present. The details should include information such as the address, a possible workplace, and contact information.
A black profile with a suspicious cover photo is normally always a scam.
Scammers are extremely creative in inventing new ways to scam the public. Now that you know how to spot event ticket scams, you will find it easier to spot many other fraudulent scams. You’re on your way towards adding the enjoyment and peace of mind back into event ticket shopping.