Whether you’re a fan of Broadway shows or are on the lookout for sports and theater tickets at a discount, make sure you don’t become the next victim of an event ticket scam. Scam artists selling discounted event tickets and packages can be hard to spot and many are getting very good at duping customers into buying fake tickets or pre-purchasing tickets that don’t actually exist.
Here are the top ten event ticket scams to avoid:
- Fake Tickets. Broadway tickets and some theater tickets are fairly easy to duplicate with Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator. Many scam artists even print the ticket on card stock to make it look like a real ticket. You won’t know that it’s fake until you take it to the theatre; just remember that most scam artists will ask for a cash, check, or money order to be sent to an address so they can mail you the ticket – or won’t send you anything at all.
- E-ticket errors. If you purchase a ticket from a broker, they may have mistakenly sold the ticket to someone else but still sent you a confirmation about your purchase. The duplicate sale won’t be detected until you get to the box office; it’s up to the broker to refund your purchase.
- Dummy seats. Some ticket brokers will advertise tickets for seats that they don’t actually have. If they make the sale, they end up looking for a comparable ticket to purchase on your behalf and hope to make a profit. Make sure you’re working with honest, reputable brokers so you don’t fall for this scam.
- Wrong seats. If you buy your Broadway tickets or other tickets on eBay, make sure you read the details about the seat carefully and aren’t buying tickets for seats that are obstructed or too far away from the stage. Remember that less-desirable seats are usually much cheaper.
- Duplicate ticket sales. Some box offices and ticketing agents provide duplicate tickets to customers who may have lost or destroyed the original. Scam artists take advantage of this by picking up duplicates and then selling them on Craigslist and other listing sites. Again, you won’t know you have these until your tickets are denied at the box office.
- Tickets for different performances. Some scammers will sell off tickets to a completely different performance; it’s your responsibility to make sure the date, time, and show are accurate.
- Illegally purchased tickets for resale. Identity thieves may have purchased tickets using a stolen credit card and will then try to sell the tickets to someone else. When the person who had their credit card stolen cancels the purchase, the unsuspecting buyer finds that their tickets are invalid. Again, make sure you’re only working with reputable sellers.
- Pairs of tickets that aren’t next to each other. Ticket scalpers may have convinced you to buy two tickets to a show for a great deal, but you don’t realize that the seats aren’t even next to each other until you arrive. Make sure you’re working with legitimate sellers and can verify that seats are actually next to each other.
- Fraudulent email tickets. More theaters and Broadway companies are now accepting E-tickets where they just scan a barcode instead of tearing a paper ticket. However, scammers are known to sell multiple copies of the same barcode which means that the only the first person who gets to the theater will get in.
- Market manipulation. Some ticket brokers purchase tickets at the standard price in bulk before most people have a chance to buy them. As the available inventory decreases, the price of tickets can increase. These brokers can then charge a much higher price for the ticket.