Maybe a big game is coming to your home town or that “bucket list” performer’s tour is coming to a local arena. You are determined it’s an experience you don’t’ want to miss. Anticipation builds for the morning ticket sales open but within minutes, automated “bots” and scalpers have swooped in and the dreaded “this event is no longer available” message pops up. Just like that, the event is sold out and you’re shut out.

Has that #FOMO “fear of missing out” anxiety set in yet? You bet it has and you decide to consider other options to enjoy that moment, like a third-party reseller.

“You should be aware that the potential for ticket fraud is a real concern,” said Trevor Buxton, a fraud awareness and communications manager and Certified Fraud Examiner with PNC Bank. “Especially when offers appear too-good-to-be-true, you don’t want to be stuck paying for worthless passes and miss your dream event.

Buxton offers three tips you can take to avoid getting burned and score those prized tickets.

Always buy tickets directly from a reliable source to ensure a legitimate purchase and receive protections should the sporting event be canceled or postponed.

-Trevor Buxton

Ticket Tips

Always buy tickets directly from a legitimate source. Licensed places offer protections should the sporting event be canceled or postponed. Legitimate sources can include:

  • Governing body, box office or athletic department of a particular university or team
  • Concert venue box office or website
  • Licensed third-party ticket vendor

Be wary of unlicensed third-party sellers. The chance of buying a counterfeit or stolen ticket for a sporting event or concert increases when purchased from unlicensed third parties, including:

  • Scalpers and street vendors (scalping tickets may also be illegal depending on state law)
  • Peer-to-peer sales platforms
  • Spoofed websites, which mimic any of the legitimate ticket sources or vendors

A purchaser has very little recourse when buying a counterfeit or stolen ticket, and in some extreme cases, can be arrested for attempting to one use at the big event. Furthermore, if the counterfeit or stolen ticket was purchased via credit or debit card, the scammer now has the associated card’s information, which can be used for further frauds against the purchaser.

Understand payment processes. Ticket scammers like to promote using untraceable payment methods such as cash, gift cards or wire transfers. If paying online, make sure to do so on a secure “https” website with a traceable method like a credit or debit card. Be sure to understand peer-to-peer payment protections before sending money to anyone.

Keeping these tips in mind, being aware of the potential for fraud and knowing applicable laws in your state that govern ticket re-sales can help you steer clear of a nightmare and enjoy an event to remember.