BBB: Big event coming up? Watch out for ticket scams

Posted at 11:14 AM, Feb 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-19 12:14:26-05

Springtime is near and that usually means there will be plenty of exciting events to attend in our area. Whether your bag is sports, concerts or rodeos, most of us are looking to get the best deal on premium seats, and often, that means purchasing tickets online.

According to the Better Business Bureau, there were nearly 400 reports received on Scam Tracker last year related to ticket scams.

One Texas victim lost $700 in 2018 trying to buy Cotton Bowl tickets in Dallas through electronic transfer, and another lost $500 trying to get tickets to Austin’s ACL Music Festival from an individual online.

This issue has also caught the attention of the Federal Trade Commission, which is holding a workshop next month to examine online event ticket sales.

The BBB suggest the following in order to make ticket buying easy:

Weigh your purchase options. Buy tickets from the official venue, or their secondary sales options, whenever possible. It also helps to know the difference between a professional ticket broker (who is a legitimate and accredited reseller), a ticket scalper (an unregulated, unlicensed ticket seller) and a scammer selling fake tickets.

Use trusted websites. The lock symbol next to a web address when buying tickets online indicates the site is more than likely secure. Also, use sites with ‘https’ where ‘s’ stands for secure. Online ads or emails may be unsafe sources. You can also look up ticket sellers and brokers on to review their complaint history, customer reviews and any potential advertising concerns. Check if they are a member of the National Association of Ticket Brokers.

Know the refund policy. Terms of the transaction, as well as when the tickets will be available and where the locations of the seats are, should be clearly disclosed prior to purchase.

Use safe payment options. Payment options like credit cards allow you to potentially get your money back within a certain time frame if something goes wrong.

Beware of ads. Advertisement popups might appear if you search for tickets online. They may advertise low prices, but you should use your judgement and keep in mind that these could be scams.

Verify your tickets. If you are  worried about your tickets, visit the event venue and talk to customer service. They will know whether your ticket is legitimate and show you how you can tell if a ticket is fake.

For more information on avoiding ticket scams, visit

Got a question for the BBB? Contact Regional Director Kelly Trevino at or call (361) 852-4991.