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Media > Newsletters > Consumer Advocate > August 2023 > Beware of fake ticket scams

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Beware of fake ticket scams

Summer is a popular season for concerts and sporting events, including high-profile attractions that sell out quickly. Here are some tips for avoiding scammers who sell fake tickets:
  • Be skeptical of offers that seem too good to be true. Sellers using online marketplaces may offer tickets at face value (or below) for events that are sold out or in high demand, but these offers may be scams. Some might offer “Hail Mary” explanations for why they need to sell tickets quickly – falsely claiming, for example, that they have a medical emergency or an overseas military assignment.
  • Review the location seating chart. One way to check whether the tickets are valid is to familiarize yourself with the venue’s seating chart. If the seller is offering a seat in a row number not listed on the chart, it’s likely a scam.
  • Ask for the original ticket confirmation. When buying from an individual who purchased the tickets through an online ticket seller, ask the person to send you the confirmation email sent by the original seller. Don’t send any money until you verify that the tickets are real.
  • Be careful dealing with individual third-party sellers. To protect yourself, deal with reputable businesses instead of third-party individuals who are not associated with an event. Sophisticated but illegitimate websites can easily impersonate logos. Before providing any payment or personal information, research a seller’s reputation, especially that of an individual seller. Search the seller’s name, username, email address, phone number and other details for information. Even if you find no negative information, don’t assume that the seller is trustworthy. Some con artists change names regularly.
  • Think twice if the seller approaches you to purchase the tickets. If someone you do not know contacts you out of the blue offering tickets to a sold-out sporting event or concert, it might be a scam.
  • Be wary of sellers who change the requested form of payment. Con artists often request payment methods that are difficult to trace or recover, such as wire transfers, cash or gift cards. If you’re using a mobile wallet or peer-to-peer payment service such as Venmo or Zelle, be sure that you understand the protections the service does (or does not) provide before making a transaction. If buying from a ticket resale site, understand the protections that it offers, too.
  • Consider paying with a credit card. If a problem arises, you generally have greater protections and the ability to dispute charges on a credit card. The same isn’t true for some other payment methods.
Consumers who believe they have been defrauded should immediately report the details and contact the company they used to make the payment.

Ohioans can report scams to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at or by calling 800-282-0515.