Don’t Get Cheated By Counterfeit Ticket Sellers
Connecticut Better Business Bureau is warning
consumers to be cautious when buying tickets online or from individuals. Scammers
know that event tickets are hot items and often hard to obtain, and that there is a great deal of money to be made
selling counterfeit tickets.
Ticket scams typically pop up on online auction and
classified ad sites, and through disreputable ticket dealers. Nationally, between May to September last year,
BBB received more than 800 complaints against event ticket brokers.
The most common complaints allege consumers paid for what ended up as counterfeit tickets or they paid in advance for tickets that never arrived. In other cases, they ended up with tickets that were in different sections than what the consumers ordered.
The National Association of Ticket Brokers (NATB) is a good place to turn when purchasing event tickets. The NATB works with law enforcement agencies, professional sports teams and other organizations to fight counterfeit ticket sales.
If you are looking to buy special event tickets, BBB advises:
Know who you are dealing with - When purchasing tickets online, it’s important to
know you’re working with a reputable seller.
Check their Business Review to look for any pattern of complaints at www.bbb.org.
Check sellers’ customer feedback if you are buying through an online
Be careful with classified ads – Online classified ad sites are a popular source for
tickets, however, they’re also popular with criminals who are trying to sell
counterfeits. Unfortunately, any
transactions between buyer and seller are private and do not offer the same
protection as bona fide ticket sellers.
Select a secure payment method – Getting a refund is difficult if not impossible if
you pay by check or wire transfer and the tickets never arrive or are counterfeit. Credit cards and secure online payment
systems such as PayPal offer substantial protection against fraud.
- When buying tickets online, look
out for “convenience” or “venue” fees that can raise the price. Before you pay, be sure your invoice lists all
charges, including shipping, handling, insurance and taxes. Coupons and other discounts also should be
Watch out for
cut rate prices - The reason tickets are expensive
is because they’re hard to get and the chances of you getting lucky and finding
a deal are slim. If someone is selling
tickets to a popular event for much less than they are offered elsewhere, buy
from someone else. Some phony ticket
sellers will use a hard luck story such as military deployment or moving as the
reason they have to sell tickets suddenly and at bargain basement prices.
Read the fine
print - Will you get a refund if it is cancelled or rained
out? Is it standing room or seats? This information should be identified at the
time of purchase or available on the website and disclosed to you before the
transaction is finalized.
Keep a record
of your purchase - Save any information the seller
gives you such as receipts, product description, delivery date, cancellation
Howard Schwartz is Executive Communications Director, Connecticut Better Business Bureau
Do you like Connecticut Better Business Bureau posts? If you don't want to miss any of our helpful posts, you can subscribe to our blog by clicking this link and then click "Get email updates," and our posts will arrive in your email.This article previously was published as a post in the Connecticut Better Business Bureau News blog on Patch.