Ticket-selling scams involve using tickets as bait to steal consumer money. The scammers usually sell fake tickets or make individuals pay for fake tickets, or even steal credit card information to defraud them.
As covid-19 restrictions began to lift, people anticipated the return of in-person festivals and events. However, just like the internet provides countless opportunities for people to connect through online marketplaces to connect with buyers and sellers, scammers are taking advantage of the platforms to launch new ticket selling scams.
According to Timothy Benson of Cyber-Forensics.net, a cyber forensic service online scam victims, "the growth and popularity of the online ticket facility make it an ideal place for scammers to try target buyers who are easily available at common platforms like Instagram, Facebook."
Greg Ferrier, a resident of Massachusetts, recently bought concert tickets from a site, and he says he never had an issue before. He paid for the tickets, but they were never delivered. Ferrier recollected, "they were supposed to send us a link to get the tickets, it never happened, so we're kind of out almost $400."
Caroline Andrews, who lives in Roslindale, says her "digital concert tickets never came through." She bought five tickets. One for herself, one for her husband, and three for her friends. But without any luck, she didn't get the tickets.
Unfortunately, these are just two of the thousands of cases that cyber agencies are tackling these days, and the numbers are growing incessantly.
According to cyber expert Timothy Benson, "the excitement around concert halls reopening, and the musicians coming back and performing is making people vulnerable because consumers are not taking time to research about the sellers."
Cyber-Forensics.net received more than 100 reports on their website in November 2021- all related to fake ticket scams for various events.
But there are smarter ways to buy tickets. While scammers are using sophisticated schemes to target the consumers, there are always ways to identify them.
Ways that ticket scammers steal money
Scammers, including fake resale companies, may take advantage of ticket shortages by
- Charging prices much higher than the face value of a ticket
- Creating counterfeit tickets with forged barcodes and logos of real ticket-selling companies
- Selling duplicate copies of the legitimate ticket and emailing them to several buyers
- Pretending to sell tickets online to steal money by accessing credit card information
Prevention Techniques against Ticket Scams
Learn what to do to avoid becoming a ticket selling victim:
- Buy tickets from a genuine retailer like movie theater counters or official websites.
- Buy tickets from authorized brokers and third-party sellers with verified contact information.
- Always look for red flags when someone offers tickets online. Imperfect English or incorrect grammar or vocabulary usage is the first common sign.
- Verify the seller's physical address and mobile numbers as available. Scammers often post fake addresses, PO Box addresses on websites.
- Search online for the actual web address of the resale ticket vendor. Some scammers may create duplicate websites to look like real websites.
- Always verify the ticket details, check the date and time printed carefully on the tickets. Make sure the section and seat numbers exist at the venue.
- Contact the seller in person to exchange tickets in public places.
- Ak the seller to bring identity proof when they bring the tickets,
- Use a credit card to pay for online payments. In general cases, credit cards offer protection in case any dispute arises.
- Check for complaints against a ticket seller.
- Don't trust sellers who ask for specific payment modes.
- Don't meet any individual ticket seller in a low-traffic area.
- Never trust the results of online ticket sellers on search engines blindly. Search results may include paid ads and scams.
Where to report Ticket scams?
There are several options to report a ticket scam:
- By contacting the state consumer protection office
- Contacting the Federal; Trade Commission using the Online Complaint Assistant or any federal consumer commission where the resident lives.
- Reporting the scam to state police
- If money was stolen through a credit card, in that case, credit card companies should also be contacted.
Check if victims can get money back lost in Ticket selling scams?
- If payment is made using Credit Card payment, consumers might be able to get their money back if they bought the ticket using a credit card. Many credit card companies offer card protection in case any dispute arises.
- If payment is made using direct debit: Contact the bank immediately and ask if money can be refunded. Most banks reimburse the money lost if the scam can be proved. Scam victims may apply for a refund under the Direct Debit Guarantee.
- If payment is made using a money transfer service: It is highly unlikely to get the money refunded if ticket-selling scam victims made the purchase using money transfer services like MoneyGram, Western Union, etc. When the chances of fund recovery are negligible, it is important to report the matter.
- If payment is made using gift cards or vouchers: Fund recovery in these cases is also unlikely.
In cases when fund recovery in the online scam is possible, it is ideal for reaching out to concerned authorities and ensuring victims find the right support. Therefore, make sure to search for credible agencies who guide, counsel, and instruct accurately. One such service is Cyber-Forensics.net.
Cyber-Forensics.net is committed to providing the most accurate tracing service for victims of online scams. Cyber-Forensics.net empowers and simplifies the process of tracking down the cyber-criminals and assists in recovering the funds and creating an atmosphere for a negotiated settlement. For more information, please visit http://cyber-forensics.net/.