Spring ticket scams

Spring is near, which is an exciting time around Texas. March Madness will be making its way to Houston, SXSW is gearing up in Austin, and Globe Life Field is hosting its first event in March. But with so much happening, it can be easy to find yourself getting ripped off in your search for tickets.

What happens to consumers who get scammed trying to buy tickets?

  • Consumers might be looking for tickets online, either for better deals or for sold out events, and a scammer comes along with an offer.
  • You pay them for the ticket, and then you either receive a fake, or never get anything at all.

Why is fall a profitable time for ticket scams?

  • College football starts August 24, and pro football begins in early September. If you go onto StubHub and look at prices for some of the popular college games, tickets can range from $1,500 to $2,500 each.
  • Austin City Limits Music Festival is happening in early October, and general admission three-day passes are selling for up to $1,400.
  • If a scammer sells you a fake ticket for even half of those prices, they’d still be taking a large amount of money from you.

Does BBB have tips for avoiding ticket scams?

  • Consider the source. Knowing who you’re buying from can help keep you protected. For example, are you buying from a professional ticket broker (a legitimate and accredited reseller) or a scalper (an unregulated, unlicensed seller)? These are different from a scammer who sells fake tickets online.
  • Check out the seller or broker. You can check bbb.org and read past customer reviews to see what others have experienced with a seller or broker. You can also see if you’re buying from a National Association of Ticket Brokers-member resale company by visiting VerifiedTicketSource.com.
  • Be cautious with ads. Scammers are getting better at making fake ads look real, and sometimes these will pop up if you do an internet search for tickets. Avoid clicking on ads and go to a trusted site instead. You’ll know a site is secure if it has a lock icon next to the URL.
  • Verify the tickets. If you are unsure about the tickets being real, you can take them to customer service at the event venue. They’ll be able to verify if they’re legitimate, and tell you how to know if a ticket is fake.
  • Report the fraud. If you are the victim of a ticket scam, report it to bbb.org/ScamTracker, and file a report with your local police department as well. Be sure to keep a record of you communications with the alleged scammer. Not only could this help you, it will help other consumers know not to buy tickets from that source.