$100 for a Bogus Concert Ticket

My absolute favorite thing to do for fun is go to concerts and sporting events. I always get my tickets well in advance and purchase directly from the box office or trusted sellers. Loved ones of mine like to live on the edge and bet on getting tickets right before the event. It isn’t a terrible idea if the show or game has plenty of seats to fill. But what fun is an event like that anyway?

We want to go to the best game matchups and see our favorite artists. Those events often get sold out and therefore leave fans no choice but to try to get tickets from independent sellers. This is most definitely going to happen during Bronco season this year and not just during the division games. As long as Peyton Manning is our quarterback, I predict every game will sell out.Tickets1 150x150 $100 for a Bogus Concert Ticket

Even if you’re not a sports fan (you must not be from Denver), almost everyone loves to go to a concert every now and then. Recently I bought tickets for a show at Comfort Dental Amphitheater (which I still nostalgically refer to as “Fiddler’s”). I encouraged my friends and family to buy tickets when I did because they were general admission “on the lawn” tickets.

They didn’t listen. The show ended up selling out and they decided to get tickets from a scalper at the venue. I warned my sister the night before of ticket fraud and told her that we’ll need to seller to come to the gate with us and check the ticket’s authenticity before we hand over any money. She said, “that’s ridiculous, no one does that!” It seems odd, yes, but you can never be too careful. I reminded her that I work at the BBB and I know that people are sold fake tickets.

When we arrived at the concert, scalpers were selling lawn tickets for $100. I paid $25 for mine. Ridiculous.

We made it clear we weren’t paying more than $65. A squirrely scalper quickly approached us and said he’d take $65. We went up to the gate with him and while we were walking, he pressured us to hand over the money. We didn’t and when the event staffer scanned the ticket she said it had already been used. The scalper took off!

We soon started hearing from others that the same thing happened to them but they did hand over the money. Now they were out $100 and still couldn’t get into the show. My sister ended up meeting up with some friends of ours who also didn’t have tickets – and my husband and I finally went in and enjoyed what was left of the sold-out show.

Luckily, we didn’t get scammed but we know others did. And we know it will continue to happen. So the lesson learned here is to not procrastinate, and be very careful when purchasing tickets from independent sellers. Here are some other BBB tips to remember:

  • Do not ever, ever wire funds for payment.
  • Do not allow people to mail you tickets, pick them up in person.
  • If you can verify the legitimacy of the tickets before the event, that is recommended.
  • It is best to only buy directly from the box office or through authorized ticket markets, (stubhub.com) when available.
  • Keep in mind that it is illegal for scalpers to sell tickets for prices above face value in Denver city limits.

Tell us what you think. What’s your ticket-buying method? Have you ever been ripped off? Do you think technology has made ticket fraud easier?

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About Megan Herrera

Megan Herrera is the Denver/Boulder BBB's public relations specialist. She has been with the BBB since 2004.