Not too long ago, you used to have to buy concert and event tickets at a physical box office or via phone. Now, you can buy tickets online through digital box offices, secondhand sites or social media. While this has made it way more convenient to get tickets, it’s also made people a lot more vulnerable to scams. Sellers may sell illegitimate tickets, or simply take your money and run. Here’s how to protect yourself from concert ticket scams.
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Purchase Directly From the Performer or Venue
The best way to ensure a ticket is legitimate is to purchase your ticket directly from the official site of the performer or venue, according to the Better Business Bureau. Even if it’s a secondhand ticket, if it’s being sold on the venue’s site, it’s likely been verified so you know you’re getting the real deal.
“They will generally link to authorized sellers who will be selling genuine tickets,” said Darius Kingsley, head of business practices at Chase.
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Vet Your Source
Before buying from a vendor or site you’re unfamiliar with, do some vetting. The Better Business Bureau recommends looking up the vendor on BBB.org, as well as VerifiedTicketSource.com, which will ensure the seller is part of the National Association of Ticket Brokers’ resale community.
“To avoid being deceived, only purchase tickets from authorized sellers to ensure that they are genuine,” Kingsley said.
Look Closely at the Web Address
Scammers will often create web addresses that look similar to a well-known company’s. Double-check all spellings, and look for the lock symbol in the web address to indicate a secure purchasing system, the Better Business Bureau advises.
Double-Check All the Available Information
Before purchasing a ticket, make sure all of the information provided by the seller matches the official event information.
“Even a slight typo can be a telltale sign of a scam,” Kingsley said. “Is the concert on the date and at the venue the performer said they would be at on their official website? Does the deal seem too good to be true? For example, is the seller selling front-row tickets at a steep discount?”
Use Payment Methods That Come With Protection
Many credit cards will allow you to be reimbursed for fraudulent charges. Opt to pay with a card that offers this protection rather than other payment methods.
“Legitimate ticket websites will allow you to buy the tickets using your credit or debit card,” Kingsley said. “If the site or ticket seller is asking you to pay using a payment app, gift card or wire transfer, that’s a warning sign that it might be a scam.”
Don’t Trust Ads
Oftentimes when you search online for tickets to a particular event, a number of ads will pop up advertising tickets for sale. The Better Business Bureau warns buyers to be wary about buying through these ads, especially if prices seem too low.
“Always remember that if an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is,” Kingsley said. “Walk away.”
What To Do If You’re the Victim of a Ticket Scam
Ticket scams are becoming increasingly common. If this happens to you, don’t be afraid to take action.
“If you believe you may have been a victim of a scam, there’s no need to feel embarrassed or ashamed,” Kingsley said. “It can happen to anyone. What’s most important is to take immediate action. If you purchased tickets from an authorized reseller, reach out to their customer service team for assistance and report the incident to law enforcement — both will guide you with next steps.”
You might also report the scam to your state’s consumer protection office, the Federal Trade Commission and/or the Better Business Bureau.
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: How To Protect Yourself From Concert Ticket Scams