By Kevin Walters
With numerous big games, events and concerts during the upcoming holiday season, the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance’s Division of Consumer Affairs encourages 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. These tips can help you avoid getting scammed:
Purchase from the venue. Whenever possible, use the official ticket sales agent for the venue. Many now offer secondary sales options as well.
Consider your source. Know the difference between a ticket broker (a legitimate reseller with a permit to sell), a ticket scalper (an unauthorized ticket seller), and a scammer selling fraudulent tickets. In the State of Tennessee, you can report fraudulent ticket selling to your local law enforcement authorities.
Check out the seller/broker. Look them up on Better Business Bureau to learn what other customers have experienced. Check to see if they are a member of the National Association of Ticket Brokers. NATB members offer a 200% guarantee on tickets that don’t arrive in time for a game, concert or show.
Buy only from trusted vendors. 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.
Know the refund policy. You should only purchase tickets from a ticket reseller that provides clear details about the terms of the transaction.
Use payment methods that come with protection. Always use a credit card so you have some recourse if the tickets are not as promised.
Be wary of advertisements. When you search the web for online tickets, advertisements for cheap tickets will often appear. Use good judgment; some of these could be scams, especially if the prices are low.
Verify your tickets. Pay a visit to the arena where the event will be held. Present your ticket to “Will Call” (customer service) and they can verify if your ticket is legitimate.
The National Association of Ticket Brokers (NATB) was formed in 1994 by a group of concerned ticket brokers who desired to establish an industry-wide standard of conduct and to create ethical rules and procedures to protect the public and foster a positive perception of the industry. The NATB’s primary goal is to represent the interests of legitimate ticket brokers by promoting consumer protection and educating the public. This is done by assuring the public that when dealing with an NATB member, they are working with an honest, reliable broker that will deliver what is promised. In addition, the NATB has created a platform that allows the public to report unethical conduct by ticket brokers.