BBB Tip of the Week: Avoiding Fake Ticket Sellers

man selling tickets to pedestrians

Buying tickets on the street can be risky. By the time you find out the tickets are no good, the seller – and your money – are long gone.

Baseball season is upon us, and summer concerts and other events are coming up soon. Getting tickets to sought-after events can take some planning.

Buying from unauthorized sources is often risky. Better Business Bureau gets complaints every year from people who bought tickets through an online classified website or on the street from a stranger, but were unable to attend the event or who never got the tickets.

BBB offers the following advice for fans seeking tickets:

  • Be careful buying tickets from someone on the street. When you get to the gate and find out your tickets aren’t real, the seller will be long gone.
  • Before buying from an online ticket broker, look for BBB’s Accredited Business seal on the website and click on it to make sure it is real. BBB’s dynamic seal will take you directly to a company’s BBB Business Review, where you can read about the company’s record for responding to complaints. Make sure the website has a secure payment processing system, usually denoted by “https://” at the start of its website address or URL or a small closed lock icon at the bottom of the screen.
  • If you buy tickets through an online auction site, choose a seller with a long history of satisfied customers. Scammers can hijack old accounts, so make sure the seller has recently sold other tickets.
  • Ticket buyers also should be wary of sellers who try to lure buyers from a legitimate site to another site for a “private” transaction.  Scammers often want to conduct their business on sites with names that mimic well-known companies but actually are fakes.
  • If you are buying tickets through an online classified ad site, never pay the seller by wire transfer. You will have no way to get your money back if the tickets do not arrive or are counterfeit.

Before you do business with a charity or company, check its BBB Business Review or BBB Charity Review at www.bbb.org or by calling 314-645-3300.

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