Tips on Buying Event Tickets

April 10, 2015

With summer just around the corner, people are getting excited to attend upcoming baseball games and concerts. However, whether it’s buying tickets online or from a third-party seller, remember to be wary of ticket scams! BBB serving San Diego, Orange and Imperial Counties offers helpful tips to make sure your fun-filled summer plans don’t get ruined.

Avoiding Ticket Scams

Ticket scams can happen when buying tickets from an unofficial retailer such as Craigslist or eBay. In many cases, the tickets never arrive or turn out to be fakes.

Take the Time to Research. When buying tickets online, make sure you take the time to research the retailer you’re buying from.

  • Check for details about the company or seller. Read ratings and customer reviews to help you make the best decision before buying.
  • Ticket broker or scalper?A ticket broker is a legitimate and accredited reseller while a ticket scalper is an unregulated and unlicensed seller.
  • Contact Information. Make sure you are able to get in touch with the company or seller, so look for a physical address and phone number.
  • Search for the date the website or company was created. How long a company’s been around can say a lot about its legitimacy!
  • Refund policy. Make sure you only buy tickets from a seller or company that provides clear details about the terms of the transaction, including the refund policy.

Be Skeptical. Before purchasing tickets from a third-party ticket seller, ask yourself if they seem trustworthy.

  • You have every reason to be extremely cautious, so don’t be afraid to be skeptical and ask for additional information.
  • Ask for at least two ways that you can contact the seller, such as an address and a phone number. Be aware that scammers sometimes provide false identity, so make sure the information provided is legitimate.
  • If you choose to buy from an individual seller, meet at a public location such as a coffee shop. Before handing over any cash, ask to see the seller’s driver’s license or photo ID to make sure the name they told you matches. It’s essential to have the seller provide you with legitimate information, so you’re able to reach them for any possible ticket complications.

Stick to Credit Cards. It is important to choose the safest payment method. BBB reminds you to always pay with a credit card when making purchases online. A purchase made with a credit card is protected under the Fair Credit Billing Act. This allows customers to briefly hold payments while any issues get resolved.

How to Spot a Fake Ticket. Here are a few things you might want to look for in order to spot a fake ticket:

  • Always check the date on the ticket and make sure it matches the actual date of the event.
  • Be wary of spelling and grammatical errors. These are clear signs that a ticket might not be legit.
  • Look for authentication of pictures and logos printed on the ticket by checking the alignment and even the color.
  • Search for the barcode on the ticket! Be aware that sports games, such as the Super Bowl, or music festivals, like Coachella, have barcodes on tickets and wristbands that need to be scanned before entering.
  • If possible, compare your ticket with someone who bought theirs from the official site. This allows you to spot anything that seems to be wrong with your ticket.

Although resellers might offer tickets at a lower cost, you run the risk of being scammed. The safest option is to purchase tickets from official and well-known websites such as Ticketmaster, StubHub, and

BBB wants you to be wary of ticket scams. If you have any questions about the legitimacy of a company before you buy, visit their Business Review on or call (858) 496-2131.