Imagine you haven’t been to a live concert in a few years, and you are ready to make the most out of your summer by going to see a band perform live!
You check out this year’s Summerfest lineup when, lo and behold, your favorite band is headlining this year. (Awesome!) When you go to buy tickets on their website, the show is nearly sold out, with only the most expensive tickets remaining. Although the concert is just three days away, you are determined to snag some last-minute tickets at a fair price, so you head over to Facebook to look. After putting out a request for spare tickets in a public chat group, you are delighted to see several responses, many with suspiciously similar emotional hooks such as family emergencies. Realizing those replies seem like red flags, you ignore them. Then you stumble upon a seller who looks trustworthy. A Facebook profile photo of a man lovingly holding what seems like his two daughters. The seats are great, and the tickets are affordable. You think to yourself: “This is an excellent price for these seats, is it too good to be true? I would hate to miss this opportunity though; I better buy these now before someone else does!” After messaging the seller and providing your contact information, you pay for the tickets via PayPal Friends and Family per his request. The tickets never arrive, and his profile has been deleted. Now you are down $300 and missed the opportunity to see your favorite band at Summerfest this year.
Concert ticket scams are a growing problem. According to a recent Better Business Bureau article, the BBB scam tracker has received numerous reports of fake tickets to real events or events that did not materialize. Whether you want to catch a show at a summer festival or other local venues such as the Fiserv Forum or Pabst Theater, it is always important to follow safe buying practices. The same goes for local events such as your county fair.
Here are some tips to help you avoid ticket buying scams and protect your personal and financial information:
- Buy tickets at the venue’s box office or authorized brokers and third-party sellers.
- View the consumer protection agency website to view complaints against ticket sellers.
- Research online for negative reviews about the seller using their name and contact information with phrases such as “fake tickets” or “ticket scams.”
- Verify the correct date and time on the tickets before buying them. Also, make sure the section and seat numbers exist at the venue.
- When purchasing, have the seller meet you in person at a public place and ask for proof of purchase.
- Never wire money, send cryptocurrency or use a person to person payment process to pay ticket sellers or pay with a prepaid money card.
- Always research events to confirm they are real.
Report Concert Ticket Scams
If you have been scammed, there are several actions you can take.
- Report scams to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
- Contact Wisconsin’s consumer protection office.
- File a complaint on the Better Business Bureau’s Scam Tracker.
- Report the scam to your credit card company and dispute the charge if you paid by credit card.
Don’t fall victim to a ticket selling scam, even if a seller’s profile picture looks trustworthy. If the deal is too good to be true, chances are that it is. Learn more ways to protect yourself and your finances against fraud by visiting our Fraud Resources page.