Summer is heating up, and so is the demand for tickets to major concerts, festivals and events – especially with COVID-19 restrictions relaxed in many places. But if that hot ticket sounds too good to be true, there’s a good chance it is. Consumers across the U.S. have reported purchasing tickets for events that didn’t take place.
Scammers tempt festival-goers into buying tickets for events, promising all-you-can-eat food, live music and much more, usually through a social media link. The social media link takes festivalgoers to a website to buy tickets. In reality, the event and tickets are not real, leaving many out of hundreds of dollars and a great summer experience.
As with any shopping experience, make sure you stay vigilant about whom your money is sent to and where it goes. Use caution and do your homework when buying those tickets, especially online.
When looking for summer festival tickets, Better Business Bureau (BBB) offers these tips:
- Do your research. Search online for the name of the festival and make sure it matches the name advertised on its website. Some will change their names to disguise poor track records. BBB offers BBB Business Profiles on millions of businesses. Look up the ticket vendor to make sure you’re dealing with a trustworthy one before purchasing tickets.
- Check out the vendor’s website if it has one. Look for a website with the padlock on the page and “https” in the URL web address box. Also, look for trustmarks on websites like your BBB’s seal.
- Look for festival or vendor contact information on the festival’s website in case you need to email or call later.
- Be sure to check the festival’s or vendor’s refund and exchange policies. Always keep your receipts.
- Use caution when buying tickets sold on Craigslist and other free online listings.
- Watch out for too-good-to-be-true deals. Don’t be pressured to buy on the spot. Do some comparison shopping before making a purchasing decision.
- Pay by credit card. If something goes wrong, you may be able to dispute the charges with your credit card company. Never wire money to a stranger.