Concerts are back! Bands are touring again, and ticket spending is back to pre-COVID-19 levels. This fact hasn’t gone unnoticed by scammers, though. Recent reports to BBB Scam Tracker indicate that con artists are preying on concertgoers by pretending to represent popular ticket seller Ticketmaster.
How the scam works
You are looking to buy tickets to an upcoming concert or need to transfer tickets for a show that was postponed due to COVID-19. You do an internet search for your question, which brings up results for Ticketmaster. You click through to the website, and everything looks normal.
The website prompts you to enter your personal information and a credit card number. However, as soon as you complete a transaction, you notice some suspicious activity. You might receive tickets with someone else’s name on them, or you may never receive your tickets at all. In other cases, you get the tickets, but the site charges you a much higher rate than advertised.
Upon closer inspection, you realize you were not on the Ticketmaster site at all! It was a lookalike site with a similar name, such as “TicketSmarter” or “TicketFaster.” When you call the customer service number, they are either unreachable, unhelpful, or downright aggressive.
One ticket buyer reported this experience: “They sent me two tickets with someone else’s name on them, and they also charged me three times the amount [of] the ticket price. I have no way to get a refund and no customer service to contact (except by email) because they do not answer their phone.”
How to avoid event ticket scams
- Purchase from the venue. The safest way to purchase event tickets is to go directly through the venue, either in person or through their official website. The venue’s website may point you to Ticketmaster or another provider to complete your purchase, but you can be sure of having the correct website URL.
- Check out the seller. If you purchase from a third-party company, make sure they are a reputable ticket vendor or reseller, not a ticket scalper. Check reviews on BBB.org.
- Watch out for fake websites. Take a close look at the website’s URL to ensure there are no slight misspellings. Impostors like to make lookalike websites with domain names that are similar to well-known business names. This makes them hard to spot.
- Use a safe payment method. Always make online purchases with your credit card. You can dispute fraudulent charges and have a better chance of getting your money back.
For more information
If you are the victim of a ticket scam, whether you lost money or not, report it! By sharing your experience at BBB.org/ScamTracker, you can help other concertgoers avoid common ticket scams.