TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - One Tucson venue wants customers to be aware of who they are buying from before they purchase their next ticket to a concert or show.
“It’s horrifying. I just feel, I feel like there are people out there being ripped off,” said Emily Pratt, Box Office Manager at Fox Theatre.
The warning of third-party ticket websites is nothing new. Last year, the Better Business Bureau received nearly 400 reports on it’s scam tracker about ticket scams for sporting events, concerts, theater shows and more.
It’s was no surprise Pratt told KOLD News 13 the box office is usually bypassed for buying due to convenience or speed online. But, she sent out a warning last week after seeing customers come in with concerns.
Pratt said the box office usually has at least one customer, every show, who purchased a ticket for more than the original price. That was not due to a high-demand or sell-out, but a third-party seller taking advantage.
She said, right now, some websites are selling tickets to shows for double or triple the price, even more. She said one couple spent more than $50 a piece on $7 tickets to a film.
“I was shocked and horrified. These are seven dollar tickets a third party went through... and scammed someone," said Pratt.
Pratt said the most important thing a customer can do when searching for tickets is to be specific.
Instead of typing in the name of an artist and “Tucson” in a search browser, add “Fox Theatre” and other information that will lead you to reputable websites.
The best website is the venue’s, Fox Theatre Tucson, where you can look at the ticket prices and seat availability.
“When somebody goes to buy a show at our theater, it falls on our laps," said Pratt. "That’s not something we take lightly and it’s not something that is maybe even factually the truth. We take that on. That’s our accountability because it’s our show they are purchasing tickets to, it just hurts ever time.”
Here are some tips from the BBB, whether you are looking for tickets for any other event:
- Purchase from the venue whenever possible. Many official ticket sales agents now offer secondary sales options, as well.
- Consider your source. Know the difference between a professional ticket broker (a legitimate and accredited reseller), a ticket scalper (an unregulated and unlicensed ticket seller), and a scammer selling scam tickets.
- Check out the seller/broker. Look them up on bbb.org 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% purchase guarantee on tickets. Look up the seller on VerifiedTicketSource.com to confirm you are buying from an NATB-member resale company.
- 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 ticket 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. Sellers should disclose to the purchaser, prior to purchase, the location of the seats represented by the tickets, either orally or by reference to a seating chart; and, if the tickets are not available for immediate access to the purchaser, disclose when the tickets will ship or be available for pick up.
- Use payment methods that come with protection. Always use a credit card so you have some recourse if the tickets are not as promised. Debit cards, wire transfer or cash transactions are risky; if the tickets are fraudulent, you won’t be able to get your money back.
- 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 ads are going to be ticket scams, especially if the prices are low.
- If you’re unsure, 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 and show you how to tell if a ticket is fake.