As Lollapalooza Takes Over Grant Park: BBB Offers Top Tips to Avoid Ticket Scams

July 31, 2017

Judith Ruiz-Branch
PR & Community Outreach Coordinator
BBB Serving Chicago & Northern Illinois, 312-245-2516


As Lollapalooza Takes Over Grant Park:
 BBB Offers Top Tips to Avoid Ticket Scams

Chicago’s largest festival, Lollapalooza, is coming to Grant park this week. With the festival lineup continuing weekly through fall including Riot Fest and others, Better Business Bureau is urging consumers to be aware of fake tickets, and the potential dangers of meeting fake sellers.

Steve Bernas, president and CEO of Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois says, “Fake concert tickets and wristbands have never been easier to manufacture, and whenever there's excitement about a special event, especially a sold-out festival like Lollapalooza, there are counterfeiters who want to take advantage.”

Bernas adds, "As the city braces to host nearly half a million people, illegal ticket sellers know that fan fever can often cloud good judgement. People need to be extra careful so they are not ripped-off by bad guys selling fake tickets and poor quality, surcharged and unlicensed merchandise." 

Recent incidents in Chicago where buyers and sellers have encountered danger when making transactions at unsafe meeting places has only heightened concerns about dealing with untrustworthy sources.

Buyers should also remember that something can always go wrong during festivals and events. Earlier this month, tech glitches spelled disaster at a sold-out Pokemon Go Fest in Grant Park. Thousands of fans received a $20 face value refund but many got burned due to paying as much as $400 for tickets from scalpers and third-party vendors.

Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois has received complaints via Scam Tracker about fake websites and third-party vendors reselling the same tickets multiple times with resale values as high as 200% more than ticket face value, and buyers never receiving their tickets.


BBB urges consumers to remember these top tips when purchasing event tickets:

  • Purchase from the venue or trusted vendors
    *Venue tickets for Lollapalooza are sold out, but if you do try and buy from an outside source, only purchase from trusted vendors. A common scam trick is to create a web address that is similar to a well-known company. 

  • Check out the seller/broker at

  • Know the refund policy.

  • Use payment methods that come with protection – never pay with cash!


During the Festival:

  • Be aware of pocket pickers! – Only bring out one credit card and/or cash, and make sure you have it in a zippered pocket or a bag you can secure.

  • Store your valuables. Grant Park typically provides lockers and storage for these events available to reserve ahead of time.

Visit for more details on avoiding ticket scams. And check out our latest Live Better Newsletter for tips on safe, scam-free online shopping.


Remember to always report scammers. If you've been cheated, report the scam to authorities and the BBB Scam Tracker to warn others.


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ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2016, people turned to BBB more than 167 million times for BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.2 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at The Council of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for the local, independent BBBs in the United States, Canada and Mexico, as well as home to its national and international programs on dispute resolution, advertising review, and industry self-regulation. BBB Serving Chicago and Northern Illinois serves 19 counties in Illinois.