Friday, January 8, 2016

Year end roundup: news from U.S. event ticket scammer land

Event ticket scamming is big business. The problems for event goers begin with artificial scarcity created by some ticketing businesses or venues - often masking as charitable holding back of tickets for undecided last minute buyers. Then there is legal buying up of tickets and re-selling them at a markup, and finally plain old fraud - selling non-existent tickets or counterfeits.

2016 didn't bring anything new on scam ticket websites, and there are plenty of advice sites like this one to guide you.

Counterfeiters continue the technological advances that create ever more realistic fakes to the point that only the door scan will reveal if a ticket is real. A security guard at one of the venues we have had the pleasure to work at in the States showed us the haul of one show during the run-up to NYE 2015.

Buying pressure for sought after tickets has become extremely intense with the prevalence of smartphone apps, with British festival Glastonbury 2016 selling out in about half an hour.

But our 2015 "favorite" way to get top dollars out of event goers is the practice of venues or large ticket sellers of releasing very expensive last minute tickets. For "General Admission" event, i.e. events without assigned seating except for "VIP" audience members, ticketmaster pulled a nice one at the 28 December San Francisco show of Dead & Company. After regular tickets at 75 USD plus 15.25 service charge and VIP tickets (assigned seating) had sold out, a batch of "V-Plate" marked tickets with a face value of 165 USD appeared.

"V-Plate" tickets did not entitle buyers to any "VIP privileges".

Or, as one concert goer asked in very upset tone and possibly not 100% legally accurate wording: "Is ticketmaster scamming its own tickets?"

If we feel like it, we'll tell you the story about a scammer being out-frauded by two young ladies who managed to slip him a fake 100 dollar bill.

No comments:

Post a Comment