If attending the biggest sporting events, festivals and concerts is a big part of your vacation plans, it can be a bummer to find out that the ticket deal you scored is a scam. After all, you are making a hefty investment to be there, which you know after budgeting out your vacation.

And it can burst your bubble when the tickets are all sold out.

Well, ticket scams are more common than you realize. According to a report from CNBC, roughly 12% of American adults reported having bought a concert ticket that was, in fact, a scam.

Scams happen when the ticket prices are through the roof, or the tickets have sold out. Here is what you can do to help you not fall victim to ticket scammers.

How Do Ticket Scams Work?

Scammers take advantage of enthusiastic fans keen on seeing their favorite singer or band. Fans are desperate to get inside and grow impatient, terrified that they may not get in. This creates a sense of urgency, which works in the scammer’s favor.

It gives them the perfect opportunity to sell you a fake ticket that won’t get accepted at the event.

Simply put, scammers use tickets as bait to steal your personally identifiable information and cash. Therefore, they tend to sell fake tickets. Or you could also purchase a ticket online, but you may never obtain it.

These scams are highly prevalent for popular plays, sporting events, and concerts due to the event selling out.

How to Safely Buy Tickets from Someone Online

Buying tickets online is super easy and convenient, but you must know the risks involved. Here are a few things you can do to ensure you are safe when buying tickets online.

Buying Tickets Safely from Private Sellers

If you’re considering purchasing tickets from a private seller, make should you identify some potential red flags.

  1. Check the ticket’s authenticity. To help avoid getting scammed, find out what the ticket looks like. It may be tricky to tell a fake ticket apart from the real ticket but be sure to look at the details. For example, do not buy a ticket that doesn’t include the seat, row, and block details. You can also call the event’s website or box office to confirm the ticket’s authenticity.
  2. Avoid offers that seem “too good to be true.” If someone contacts you first about selling tickets, has a price too good to be true, and has a very low follower count, this is most likely a scam. Scammers prey on your desperation and offer you the impossible. So don’t take the bait.
  3. Never wire money or send money through a third-party service. Once you wire the money, it’s unlikely you’ll get it back. Also, if you ever find yourself pressured by a seller to wire them money, it’s probably a scam.
  4. Never give away personal information. Giving away personal information, such as your credit card number, can put you at risk for fraud.

Buying Safely from Ticket Reselling Websites

People commonly turn to resell websites when they’re desperate for tickets. Here’s how you can be safe when buying tickets from reselling websites.

  1. Check if the seller has any negative feedback, and be sure the payment page is secure. Secured pages tend to have a padlock in their address bar, which can come in handy when spending a hefty sum.
  2. Pay attention to the ticket prices. Keeping tabs on ticket prices will help ensure you’re getting a fair deal.
  3. Get a Receipt. Having a receipt helps you prove that you bought the tickets. So, if you ever lose your tickets, using a receipt can help you get into your event.

Where to Report Ticket Scams?

There are a couple of options at your disposal when it comes to reporting a ticket scam.

First, if you met the seller in person and know what they look like, then feel free to file a local police report. Talk to the state consumer protection office if you purchased these tickets online but never received them or used them.

You can also rely on the Online Complaint Assistant with the Federal Trade Commission.

You can report this issue to the card company for those who used their credit card to make a purchase. You can dispute the charge. This means that the transaction that happened may be reversed.

How to Recover from a Ticket Scam?

Scammers typically ask you to issue the payment in ways that can make it difficult for you to get your cashback. That’s why using options like PayPal can make for a more practical approach. But, if you didn’t, then the sooner you act, the better. Report the scam as soon as possible to try to get a refund.

If you believe a ticket scam has compromised your personal information, then investing in an identity theft protection plan is a good idea. It can protect your sensitive information and credit. An identity theft protection service, like IdentityIQ, are dedicated to protecting your information and bringing you peace of mind.

Now that you know how to help take better care of your personal information and make more reliable ticket purchases, you can enjoy your concert stress-free.

Watch our video below for more on ticket scams!