Looking for a seat at the next big concert coming to town? Want to be in the stands at an upcoming sporting event — either here locally or somewhere down the road? Chances are, there will always be someone willing to sell you a ticket.
It just may not be genuine.
According to Ticketmaster, 5 million people are affected by ticket fraud every year. It is a simple, but effective, way for thieves to steal your money.
It is something the Better Business Bureau sees all the time.
They recently received a report from someone who tried to buy two tickets to the Austin City Limits Music Festival through Craigslist, and ended up losing $500. After sending the money through a wire transfer, the person who was supposedly selling the tickets stopped returning messages.
The BBB reminds everyone that rather than learning the hard way just how crafty these thieves can be, it would be much better to protect yourself by doing the following:
Buy only from trusted vendors. If making a purchase online, make sure it is someone you know and trust. Look for the lock symbol in the web address to indicate a secure purchasing system. Do not access the site from links found in email or online ads. A common ticket scam trick is to create a web address that is similar to a well-known company.
Use protected methods of payment. Always use a credit card so you have some recourse if the tickets are not as promised. Debit cards, wire transfer or cash transactions are risky, since you will not be able to get your money back if the tickets are fraudulent.
Take care when using Craigslist. Third party sites can be wonderful tools for purchasing items you will be allowed to inspect in person before completing the transaction. Otherwise, keep in mind that anonymous scammers can easily mask themselves behind fake email addresses and phone numbers.
Bottom line? Listen to your gut. If something does not seem right, trust your instincts. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Got a question for the BBB? Contact Regional Director Kelly Trevino at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (361) 852-4991.