NEWS RELEASE: Fake tickets for Taylor Swift, Beyonce, lead to broken hearts, empty wallets

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CLEVELAND – Some of music’s biggest names are coming to stages near you this summer: Taylor Swift, Beyoncé, The Cure, Pink, Arctic Monkeys and more. Also, this time of year, NBA and NHL fans are forking out big bucks to see their playoff teams in the conference finals and championship games. Although the tickets may be sold out, you want to go.

When you factor in demand for concerts by artists who haven’t toured in years and technology that makes it more difficult than ever to spot fake tickets, the outcome can be disastrous. Would-be event-goers should be especially skeptical of tickets for sale through online forums such as Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist. You can learn the warning signs of a scam and how to avoid being ripped off by reading our new consumer guide: Fake tickets, real heartbreak: Tips to avoid getting scammed. 

“Desperate music and sports fans can fall for scams involving tickets because they want to go so much that they make bad decisions they wouldn’t normally make,” said Teresa Murray, Consumer Watchdog at U.S.PIRG Education Fund.

Even people who don’t fall for counterfeit tickets can get their information hacked if they’re tricked into sharing verification codes, which can cause a whole host of other problems. 

Consumers who snag tickets for concerts, big sports matches or other events are warned to never post photos of their tickets online because thieves could hijack the barcodes or information to go to the event themselves or create counterfeit tickets, according to the FBI.

We see three primary types of scams:
1. Counterfeit paper or electronic tickets.
2. Scammers who have legitimate tickets and then sell the same tickets to multiple buyers.
3. Con artists who create counterfeit websites that look just like known companies such as StubHub, VividSeats or TicketMaster and advertise tickets supposedly for sale. They pretend to be a reseller and just want your credit card or debit card information. For example, a scammer could create a website with the URL: TlCKETMASTER.COM (Did you notice that URL contains a lower-case L and not an I?)

“It’s sad, but it’s easier than ever for music or sports fans to get scammed by counterfeit tickets or get tricked into providing their personal information,” said Murray. “And by the time you realize there’s a problem, the thief and your money are long gone.”