There are a lot of scams that happen online, however one of the biggest is ticket scams. Most think it can’t happen to them, but people increasingly fall for it as it becomes easier to send money online to strangers. Thankfully with the right info, it’s actually easy to protect yourself…and your bank account! Here’s a few tips:
1. Think like a scam artist. Putting yourself in a fraudster’s shoes can give insight to a lot of red flags. Scammers often look for a need, like an event that is sold out, or a toy that is sold out in stores. If you’re looking for a sold out festival ticket and you see a post saying, “I have 15 tickets for this festival for cheap,” it’s probably a scam.
2. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. When you think about it, sellers are trying to get the highest possible value for their tickets. So if the lowest face value for a sold out show was $100, why would someone sell a ticket for $50? In essence, do your research.
3. Use payment methods that come with protection. First of all, make sure not to wire money. If someone asks you to send money through Western Union, MoneyGram or other sites like these, it’s most likely a scam. Also if the person is unwilling to pay through PayPal, this may be a red flag. PayPal is safe, as is using a credit card (if done correctly).
4. Buy tickets only from the venue box office, promoter, official agent or reputable ticket exchange sites. These places are guaranteed to have safer and more secure tickets than sites like Craigslist. Other sites that lack credibility are more susceptible to fraudsters. Also, ask your friends before reaching out to strangers! Send out a Facebook post asking if any of your friends know people who may have a ticket. Networking is valuable and makes you less prone to scams!
5. Be careful about your personal information. Be sure not to post your phone number, email, address and other personal information for everyone to see. Once you have confirmed the transaction is real and trustworthy, then you may give them your information.
6. Meet in person (but be safe)! For obvious reasons, meeting with the person face to face is the best way to make sure you aren’t getting scammed. However, make sure to meet in a public place, and bring somebody with you just in case. You never know who is out there!
7. Refuse to be rushed. Scammers tend to hurry their victims into making a decision. It might sound like “Only 7 tickets left, so if you don’t get it RIGHT NOW then you won’t get one.” Chances are, you’re getting hustled.
Check out this cool video on what to look out for on websites!