58th Presidential Inauguration Events: What You Need to Know to Avoid a Ticket Scam

January 13, 2017

With the upcoming inauguration ceremony and inaugural events for President-Elect Donald Trump, your BBB is warning residents of scams surrounding the events and is urging those interested in getting tickets to get them from verified sources, in most cases your Congressional Representation or Senator. It is also important to note that there are ways to view the events, such as the Inaugural Parade and the swearing-in ceremony, without a ticket. Consumers should proceed with caution before actually purchasing tickets from an unverified vendor since these tickets may be counterfeit.

The BBB recommends the following tips to help avoid a ticket-selling scam:

Do your research. When purchasing tickets through an online broker, look for the BBB seal on its website and check its BBB Business Review at bbb.org. Assess the company’s policy for customer satisfaction and what happens if tickets purchased through its site are fake or not as advertised.

Know how tickets are being distributed and if they are needed for your event. Tickets for popular events will most likely be hard to come by due to limited supply. It’s important to know that attendees will need tickets for certain areas of the swearing-in ceremony, but there are non-ticketed viewing areas available as well. Legitimate tickets will be given out by your House Representative or Senator. Tickets for the parade are only required for certain places along the parade route and these tickets are handled by the Presidential Inaugural Committee. Most viewing areas along the parade route will not need a ticket. To attend an Inaugural Ball, contact the committee who is hosting the event directly. Don’t let a scammer tell you otherwise.

If it sounds too-good-to-be-true, it probably is. The reason tickets are expensive is because they are unusually hard to get and the chances of getting lucky and finding a deal are slim. If a situation sounds too-good-to-be-true, such as someone selling tickets to a popular event when tickets are rare, not needed or for much less than offered elsewhere, it probably is.

Pay with a credit card or PayPal account. Consumers should avoid paying by cash, check or wiring money to a seller. Often, there is little or no way to get back your money if the tickets do not arrive which is why scammers do business this way. Using a credit card or PayPal account provides additional protection and the opportunity for reimbursement if the seller is uncooperative or does not follow through with sending the tickets.

Keep a record of your purchase. Save any information the seller gives you such as receipts, product description, delivery date, cancellation policy, privacy policy, warranties and order confirmation numbers. The information may come in handy if you need to dispute the charges.

Ask to see the seller’s proof of purchase.  If you are purchasing your tickets directly from an individual without the aid of a known online third-party, you should ask the ticket seller for proof of purchase that the tickets were obtained from an authorized source.  If they don’t offer that, don’t turn over payment.

For more tips you can trust, visit bbb.org/dc-easternpa and for the latest, follow us on Facebook and Twitter. To check out current scams or report a scam, visit bbb.org/scamtracker/washington-dc-eastern-pa. For more information about inaugural events, please visit: 58pic2017.org