Between sporting events and music festivals, Spring is an exciting time in South Texas. But that means it’s also an exciting time for scammers looking to steal money from people buying tickets. We asked Better Business Bureau Regional Director Jason Meza to give us some tips for ticket scams this spring.
Q: What happens to consumers who get scammed trying to buy tickets?
A: Consumers might be looking for tickets online, either for better deals or for sold out events, and a scammer comes along with a great offer. You pay for the ticket, and then you either receive a fake, or nothing at all. We have seen several victims in the Coastal Bend who were offered concert tickets via a fake Facebook profile, instructed to send money through CashApp then blocked communication once payment went through, leaving the victim without tickets.
Q: Does BBB have tips for avoiding ticket scams?
- Investigate the source. Use a trusted platform to communicate and pay to ensure a guaranteed purchase. For example, are you buying from a professional ticket broker (a legitimate and accredited reseller) or a scalper (an unregulated, unlicensed seller)? These are different from a scammer who sells fake tickets online. If buying from a private seller, be highly cautious as profiles can be imitated or hacked.
- Be cautious with ads. Scammers are getting better at making sponsored ads look real, and sometimes these will pop up if you do an internet search for tickets. Avoid clicking on ads and go to a trusted site instead. You’ll know a site is secure if it has a lock icon next to the URL. If you are unsure about the tickets, you can take them to customer service at the event venue.
- Use protected payment methods. Credit cards are always the safest way to pay, especially if you receive tickets that were not as promised. When using PayPal, do not use “Friends and Family” which prevents a refund. Be careful with third-party apps such as CashApp or Zelle as scammers prefer can withdraw money quickly then delete their account. Wire transfers and gift cards also make it difficult to get your money back. If you are buying from a local ticket holder, meet at a police substation.
- If you are the victim of a ticket scam, start with your bank or the platform used. Also, report it to bbb.org/ScamTracker, and file a report with your local police department.