Special to The Dallas Examiner
Securing tickets to popular sporting events and concerts can be difficult and competitive.
Many stadiums and venues have gone to only accepting only digital tickets, making the possibilities for scams all the more likely.
What you need to know about online ticket purchases
With the wide range use of the internet, there are countless ways for consumers to find tickets and connect with online marketplaces, ticket sellers and resellers. Some are rip-offs, and it’s not always clear how to tell if a ticket is fake. Last year, the Better Business Bureau received over 140 reports on BBB Scam Tracker about ticket scams related to sporting events, concerts, theatre and more.
BBB has warned consumers to be aware when searching for and purchasing tickets to ensure they are purchasing from a trustworthy source. BBB and the National Association of Ticket Brokers have been working to raise awareness and educate fans about the smartest ways to buy tickets on the secondary resale market.
Gary Adler, the executive director and counsel for the NATB, recommended people download their tickets to a digital wallet before the event. With large crowds outside the stadium or venue, cell phone service may be spotty, making it harder to access your ticket.
Just like scammers found a way into the paper ticket arena, Adler said that they will do what they can to get into the digital ticket game.
“When it is worthwhile, there will be people who try to do that, which is why I go back, whether you are dealing with digital or any ticket to make sure you buy from someone you will have some recourse with,” Adler said “The members of our association are professional resellers. They are in the business of doing things right. Think about it; you are not going to be a professional reseller if you do not deliver what you promise or take care of customers. If in the event there is some issue, if you have bought from a reputable reseller member of our association, you will have some recourse. Always go back to making sure you do your homework and make sure you know who you are buying from.”
Tips for buying tickets for a game, concert or any other event:
- Purchase from the venue whenever possible. Many official ticket sales agents now offer secondary sales options, as well.
- Consider your source. Know the difference between a professional ticket broker (a legitimate and accredited reseller), a ticket scalper (an unregulated and unlicensed ticket seller) and a scammer selling scam tickets.
- Check out the seller/broker. BBB.org has revealed what other customers have said about their experience.
- Check to see if they are a member of the National Association of Ticket Brokers. NATB members offer a 200% purchase guarantee on tickets. Look up the seller on VerifiedTicketSource.com to confirm you are buying from a NATB-member resale company.
- Buy only from trusted vendors. Buy online only from vendors you know and trust. Look for the lock symbol in the web address to indicate a secure purchasing system. Don’t click through from emails or online ads; a common ticket scam trick is to create a web address that is similar to a well-known company.
- Know the refund policy. You should only purchase tickets from a ticket reseller that provides clear details about the terms of the transaction. Sellers should disclose to the purchaser, before purchase, the location of the seats represented by the tickets, either orally or by reference to a seating chart; and, if the tickets are not available for immediate access to the purchaser, disclose when the tickets will ship or be available for pick up.
- Use payment methods that come with protection. Always use a credit card, so you have some recourse if the tickets are not as promised. Debit cards, wire transfers or cash transactions are risky; if the tickets are fraudulent, you won’t be able to get your money back.
- Be wary of advertisements. When you search the web for online tickets, advertisements for cheap tickets will often appear. Use good judgment; some of these ads will be ticket scams, especially if the prices are low.
- If you’re unsure, verify your tickets. Pay a visit to the arena where the event will be held. Present your ticket to “Will Call” [customer service], and they can verify if your ticket is legitimate and show you how to tell if it is fake.
Look up online marketplace business profiles, file a complaint or write a customer review at https://www.bbb.org. Visit BBB Scam Tracker to research and report scams.