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Online Ticket Sales Bring New Convenience, New Opportunities For Fraud

(A ticket purchased online.  Graphic by Ed Fischer)

(A ticket purchased online. Graphic by Ed Fischer)

John Ostapkovich John Ostapkovich
John Ostapkovich brings humor and wit, and a wealth of experience...
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By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Whether it’s for a gift or for oneself, we’re increasingly buying tickets to events online. And that’s causing some new problems in the secondary market.

Crooks use technology, too, so any computer, or even a photocopier, can become a platform for ticket fraud.

Ticketmaster vice president Julia vander Ploeg says it’s impossible to tell just by looking whether a downloaded ticket is real or fake.

“I’ve been in the box office before an event when fans come up with tickets they bought in the parking lot that didn’t scan at the gate, and they wonder why they can’t in.  And the box office has to explain to them that it’s not a real ticket that they just purchased, and it’s heartbreaking.”

Vander Ploeg says there are also lots of tickets being hawked in the online resale market.

“These unscrupulous resellers will set up web sites that look like the box office but they’re really not, so read the fine print very carefully that you got to,” she warns.  “Make sure you know what you’re buying.”

The best places to buy tickets are at the venue box office, through a fan club or sports league, or through some outfit like hers that guarantees its tickets are genuine, she says.

Buying a secondhand ticket online can be a crapshoot, but here, too, there are places that verify their wares.

Ticketmaster’s resale portal, ticketsnow.com, and other big name ticket sites guarantee what they sell.  That guy in the arena parking lot, not so much.

 

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