TDCI Offers Tips to Help Consumers Avoid Fraudulent Ticket Purchases

Friday, September 15, 2017 | 8:58am

NASHVILLE – Getting tickets to cheer on your favorite team shouldn’t be fraught with worries about being scammed. With football season kicking into high gear, the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance’s (TDCI) Division of Consumer Affairs reminds consumers to be wary of fraudulent ticket purchasing.

When scouting for discount tickets to a big sporting event or trying to snag seats to a sold-out show, many consumers turn to ticket brokers and the ticket resale market. Purchasing tickets from secondary markets can sound like a great deal, but ticket fraud is common. Be wary when purchasing from someone you do not know, or if a deal sounds too good to be true. Not only could you lose money, but you could miss out on a great event.

The Division of Consumer Affairs offers the following tips to help Tennesseans avoid ticket scams:

  • Whenever possible, use the official ticket sales agent for the venue. Many now offer secondary sales options as well.
  • Ask the seller to walk with you to the venue entrance before buying. If they hesitate or refuse, don’t purchase the tickets.
  • Ask the seller for photo identification and make a note of his/her name & date of birth.
  • Make sure all necessary bar codes are on the tickets and serial numbers aren’t repeated from ticket to ticket.
  • Be cautious when buying PDF print out tickets. These could have been printed multiple times and only the first person to have that ticket scanned at the gate will get in.
  • Know what ticket format the venue uses. Digital tickets may not be supported at every venue.
  • Check the ticket to make sure all information, such as the date, event location, and face value, is correct.
  • If you’re looking to buy re-sale tickets online, make sure you’re buying from a company that offers verified tickets, a money back guarantee, or a comparable seat promise.
  • Know the refund policy. You should only purchase tickets from a ticket reseller that provides clear details about the terms of the transaction.
  • 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 scam trick is to create a web address that is similar to a well-known company.
  • Use payment methods that come with protection. Always use a credit card so you have some recourse if the tickets are not as promised.
  • Avoid purchasing tickets from someone you don’t know asking you to wire money.
  • Get the specifics on tickets, which include shipping terms and availability dates. For example, if the reseller has tickets in-hand or if they are speculative tickets. Speculative or “spec” ticket postings are when resellers advertise tickets they don’t actually have. If an event has not gone on sale yet to the general public, but seats are already being sold, that is a good indication that they are “spec “tickets. They do this so they have the greatest flexibility to find tickets to deliver to the buyer.
  • Cover the code! Do NOT take photos of your ticket stubs and post them on social media sites. This is the perfect way for nefarious brokers to rip off these tickets. 

Remember, you can file a complaint about a business with the TDCI Division of Consumer Affairs at www.tn.gov/consumer or by phone at (615) 741-4737.

For more consumer tips and resources, visit www.tn.gov/consumer.

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Commerce & Insurance