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BBB: Concert season is here, beware of ticket scams

silhouettes of concert crowd in front of bright stage lightsBuffalo, NY – People have more options than ever for purchasing seats for concerts and events, but that also can mean more ways to get scammed. If you’re planning on buying tickets for one of the biggest concert events of the summer, the Rolling Stones, and Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Upstate New York want everyone to be on alert for phony event tickets, and identity theft schemes. Scammers know these tickets are especially hot items, and often hard to obtain, and they will try to take advantage of an anxious buyer. Recently, hundreds of people lost out on the chance to see comedian Kevin Hart in Buffalo because of a ticket scam. Police are looking for the suspect, who is accused of buying tickets with a stolen credit card, then reselling the tickets on StubHub and Craigslist. Last month, several others were stung after buying tickets online for the Rush concert coming up in June.  Rolling Stones tickets go on sale for the July 11 show at Ralph Wilson Stadium Monday, April 13. Since this is the only regional show, it is sure to be a hot ticket. The Rolling Stones’ website has information for those who are interested in buying tickets from the official seller.

“If you plan on buying tickets online for the Rolling Stones, or any other concert, always be thorough and check the fine print,” said Warren Clark, president of BBB of Upstate New York. “Everyone is looking for the best deal on concert tickets. Make sure you read the fine print before clicking ‘purchase, ’and follow BBB’s trusted advice. No one wants to end up outside of the concert because their tickets turned out to be a fake.” Last year, BBB received over 2,000 complaints nationally concerning event ticket sales, and ticket brokers. The most common complaint alleged that people paid for counterfeit tickets, or paid in advance and never received their tickets. As a result, if you are looking to buy tickets to an event, BBB offers the following advice:

Do your research. Look up the seller, or broker, on bbb.org for details about the company, history of complaints, and customer reviews. BBB’s website also includes business reviews on secondary market ticket firms which provide buyer protections, including money-back guarantees if tickets turn out to be fraudulent.

Know the difference between a ticket broker, and a ticket scalper. A ticket broker is a legitimate, and accredited, reseller, while a ticket scalper is an unregulated, and unlicensed, ticket seller.

Check the ticket broker’s refund policy. Only buy from a ticket reseller that provides clear details about the terms of the transaction.

Don’t give too much personal information. It’s important to never provide sensitive information such as your social security number or financial data. Confirm the name and address of the business before your purchase, especially if you have clicked to a ticket broker or third party website. Pay with a credit card. This way, you have some recourse if the tickets are not as promised. Do not use cash; there is little to no way of getting your money back if the tickets aren’t real. Verify whether the seats are real. Always ask for a section, row and seat number to verify the location, to avoid obstructed view seats, or seats that do not exist. Also, feel free to ask questions, and make certain you get all the answers you need in order to feel comfortable with your ticket purchase. Then, go ahead and enjoy the show! For scam alerts, tips and other information you can trust, visit BBB.org, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.