I want to buy tickets for a show that’s sold out but I’m worried about getting scammed. How can I be sure the tickets are legitimate?

Scams are becoming increasingly common, with scammers constantly finding new ways to trick consumers into parting with their money.

Advice Direct Scotland’s Scamwatch app has seen a 50% increase in scams reported over the last year.

Types of ticketing scams

Ticketing scams involve scammers using a range of methods to get money for non-existent tickets or lower quality tickets than the customer is expecting. In some cases, the consumer may find they have purchased a ticket to an entirely different event than the one they were hoping to attend.

Duplicate ticket sales are becoming an increasingly common ticketing scam. This is when identical tickets are sold to multiple buyers, leading to a scenario where only the first person to use the ticket gains admission to the event. Unfortunately, this practice is on the rise due to the increased prevalence of QR codes and e-tickets.

Fake tickets may also be sold to consumers. These can often seem legitimate and can be difficult to tell which may be genuine and which are scams.

With tickets to some events selling out very quickly, the scammer also benefits from consumers feeling pressured to purchase the tickets quickly.

Where can tickets be purchased?

Tickets can be purchased via ticket resale websites. These sites sell tickets that have been purchased from official ticket sellers, but they also provide a platform for private individuals to sell unwanted tickets.

This method can be useful if an event has sold out quickly, but often results in the customer paying more than the original ticket value and there tends to be additional charges added on top.

Websites such as Viagogo and StubHub are resale websites but will often appear as the top results for tickets in search engine results.

Private individuals may also resell unwanted tickets either online or outside the venue. You should always be wary of buying from a private individual as there is a higher chance the ticket will be fake, and it could be difficult to get your money back. There are also fewer protections available to you as a consumer if purchasing from a private individual.

There are also fan to fan websites such as Twickets where tickets are generally sold for their original price or less, although there can be additional fees to pay.

Take precautions

Before buying tickets, you should check that the tickets are officially on sale. You can check this on the venue or artists websites.

Before sending across any funds, you should ensure that you have contact details for the seller in case you have any problems and need to contact them.

Buyers should take the time to thoroughly review the terms and conditions when purchasing online. Some ticket platforms explicitly state a no-refund policy.

You can verify the security of the payment pages by looking for a padlock symbol in the address bar and ensuring that the website’s address begins with “https.”

It is safer to opt for credit card payment when buying tickets, as credit card issuers share liability for any failure in delivering goods or services. It’s essential to confirm the duration of this liability period with your card provider, especially for events further in the future.

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