Taylor Swift fans are being warned to be cautious when buying tickets for her current “Eras” tour, with scammers waiting in the wings to trick would-be gig goers. The Better Business Bureau says it has received somewhere in the region of 200 complaints from residents of Michigan, and there’s bound to be more from other locations.
The issue is so bad that Michigan’s Attorney General advised the local "Swifties” about fraud in relation to last weekend’s Michigan leg of the tour. His warning reads as follows:
“Michigan residents who are defrauded by online ticket scammers should not just shake it off,” said Nessel. “We know these scams all too well. If you believe you were taken advantage of, filing a complaint with my office is better than revenge.”
Reports of scammers taking advantage of Swift’s fans, called Swifties, indicate some have lost as much as $2,500 paying for tickets that don’t exist or that never arrive. The Better Business Bureau has reportedly received almost 200 complaints nationally related to the Swift tour. The complaints range from refund struggles to outright scams.
Other locations for the tour are trying to get ahead of the scam curve, issuing their own warnings ahead of events where possible. For example, Cincinnati has highlighted tales of woe related to fake ticket sales on Facebook. Detroit flagged fake ticket sales on Instagram. CBC covered multiple fake sale attempts cheating folks in Canada out of significant chunks of money. Elsewhere, teens have lost out on $1,200 thanks to Craigslist scammers.
With something like 19 dates left in the US alone stretching from Minneapolis and Pittsburgh to Los Angeles and Seattle, there’s still plenty of opportunity for scammers to crawl out of the woodwork. These are undoubtedly the hottest music tickets around at the moment, so you’ll want to follow some common sense rules before trying to get your hands on some. This is especially the case given that the only ticket source left may be resellers.
How to avoid ticket scams
- Research the ticket seller. Anybody can set up a fake ticket website, and sponsored ads showing at the top of search engines can be rife with bogus sellers. You may also run into issues buying tickets from sites like ebay. Should you decide to use sites other than well known entities like Ticketmaster, check for feedback on the BBB website.
- Use a credit card if possible. You’ll almost certainly have more protection than if you pay using your debit card, or cash. We definitely recommend that you avoid using cash. If someone decides to rip you off, that money is gone forever.
- A “secure” website isn’t all it seems. While sites that use HTTPS (the padlock) ensure your communication is secure, this does not guarantee the site is legitimate. Anyone can set up a HTTPs website, including scammers.
- It’s ticket inspector time. One of the best ways to know for sure that your ticket is genuine is to actually look at it. Is the date and time correct? The city, the location? Are the seat numbers what you were expecting to see? It may well be worth calling the event organisers or the event location and confirming that all is as it should be. Some events will give examples of what a genuine ticket should look like on the official website.
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