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Don’t Get Scammed: How to Safely Purchase Resale Concert Tickets

 Don’t Get Scammed: How to Safely Purchase Resale Concert Tickets

The most nerve-wracking part of every concert I’ve experienced is scanning my ticket before gaining access to the event. Although I always buy my ticket during the original sale and from reputable sellers, I always have a nagging fear that it will be rejected at the door. Thankfully, that’s never happened to me, but it is not impossible. 

I was lucky enough to attend Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour concert last year, and leading up to the show, I read countless horror stories of fans buying resold tickets, only to be turned away at the entrance. I’ve personally never bought a concert or event ticket secondhand — mostly because of the risk associated with purchasing resale tickets. 

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This doesn’t mean that buying event tickets on the secondary market is inherently unsafe. Many people often resell their tickets because they can’t attend the event, and they’re just looking to recoup what they initially spent on the ticket. Scammers can take advantage of the excitement and hype surrounding an event, and swindle eager fans looking for a last-minute ticket to their favorite artist’s concert or favorite team’s game. 

Recently, the House of Representatives passed the TICKET Act, which seeks to protect consumers from unfair ticketing practices. According to Variety, if enacted the new law will “require ticket sellers to implement simple all-in pricing; ban speculative ticketing… ban deceptive websites and website marketing; provide full refunds for any canceled event; offer comparable replacement tickets for any postponed event with buyers’ approval; and require the FTC to issue a report on the BOTS Act Enforcement”

While the act does have significant bipartisan support, it still needs to pass a Senate vote before being sent to President Joe Biden’s desk to be signed into law. While this is a significant step in federal protections surrounding ticketing practices, these proposed changes probably won’t go into effect for a while. 

It’s important to be wary when you’re shopping around for tickets online, and these expert tips and tricks can help keep you safe when you’re buying resale tickets online. 

For more info, here’s how to keep your concert tickets safe and how to spot SMS phishing scams. 

Wait for the tour to actually go on sale before buying a secondhand ticket

This might seem like an obvious tip but don’t buy any tickets from an online reseller before the actual tour tickets have gone on sale. This process, called speculative ticketing, is when those wishing to take advantage of fan excitement might try to sell event tickets before they even have a ticket to sell. After the 2022 Taylor Swift ticket fiasco, more and more states are beginning to crack down on event ticketing practices, with Maryland becoming the first to take action against speculative ticketing. 

While you might be able to get lucky if the seller you are purchasing from gets their hands on an event ticket, the risk doesn’t outweigh the reward here. You don’t want to be out a hundred dollars or more and show up on event day with no way in.

Be wary of your payment method

Another tip (which comes straight from Ticketmaster’s website) is to be wary of your payment method. The ticketing company recommends avoiding direct payment methods that don’t really tell you what you are purchasing, or that require a direct transfer of money. 

Ticketmaster notes that a common scam would require the buyer to send the seller gift cards as payment. According to Ticketmaster’s blog, “Ticketmaster will never ask you to purchase a Ticketmaster Gift Card or any type of third-party gift card to use as a form of payment for tickets.”

The Better Business Bureau recommends that you protect yourself by using your credit card if purchasing through a website since most credit card companies have robust fraud protection policies. You should never give someone your credit card information over the phone as a form of payment. 

Try to buy from the same website where the seller bought their ticket

To be certain that you will get a genuine ticket, try buying from the original source of the ticket. Generally, this will be Ticketmaster, which allows ticket holders to resell directly on the Ticketmaster website. 

Beware, scammers can still pose as Ticketmaster to scam you out of your money. If you see an email, text or website you’re not sure is legit, you can always reach out to Ticketmaster’s official support page to double-check. 

If buying on social media, be vigilant 

If you decide to purchase your ticket on social media to dodge ticketing fees and dynamic pricing, know that you’re taking a riskier path and be aware of who you are purchasing from. Check out their profile and see if they look like a real person. You can run a reverse image search on images on their profile, and if the images don’t come up or are attached to the seller’s other social media profiles, that could indicate they are a real person. 

Real people run scams all the time, so use your best judgment when looking for tickets to purchase secondhand. If something seems too good to be true, or you have a bad gut feeling, then stay away. No matter how badly you want to go to this concert or event, it’s not worth compromising your personal information and money. 

If everything seems legit, and you’re going through with a ticket purchase, be sure to use a payment method that protects you. Using PayPal’s Goods and Services (instead of a transfer between friends and family) provides some pretty major protection and is recommended widely. 

For more, here’s what you need to know about resale concert tickets and your taxes and how to spot student loan forgiveness scams.

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