January 2013: Counterfeit Ticket Scams
Can anything be more disheartening than to show up to a concert or sporting event with what you believe to be valid tickets, only to be told they are counterfeit and you’re denied entrance into the event? That special discounted price that you were able to negotiate may not seem so special anymore.
When tickets are in high demand, ticket sales escalate, but so do ticket scams.
Be cautious when purchasing event tickets from individuals, unless you personally know them and know the tickets to be valid. It might cost you more to purchase the tickets from the box office or TicketMaster, but at least you have more of a guarantee that the seats you purchased will be yours when you get to the event. If purchasing from a ticket broker, check that the broker is a member of the National Association of Ticket Brokers (NATB) and the Better Business Bureau.
The Ticket Scam Resource Center, http://www.gocek.org/ticketscams/ , gives some excellent advice: When you enter a venue, keep your tickets. If someone approaches and states that you are in their seat, call an official over to rectify the situation. It also doesn’t hurt to bring any advance sale receipt with you to assist the employee in clearing up the matter. If you did not buy your ticket from a primary source, such as the box office or TicketMaster, accept the fact that it might be your ticket that is bogus.
If you paid by credit card, your credit card company usually provides some sort of purchase protection and you should contact them directly to start the dispute process for the charge.
Please be mindful that there are sometimes time limits on these things. If the tickets were purchased in June for an event in August and you discover in August that the tickets were fake, take care of the situation with your credit card agency immediately, explaining the circumstances to them.
If you find that you are a victim of a ticket scam, you should of course report it to the police. Please note that you will probably get more attention from the police in the area in which you actually purchased the tickets. If the tickets were purchased from somewhere out of state, you might try notifying the FBI. If the tickets were purchased off of Craigslist or Ebay, or even through Facebook, please report it to them so that they may look into the situation as well. The Colorado Attorney General’s Office might be able to assist as well.