Nevada Attorney General Aaron D. Ford warns consumers to be alert when purchasing tickets from a reseller or for events advertised online. Recently, event-related scams are on the rise, and Nevada’s popularity as a tourist destination makes it a prime target for selling fake events and counterfeit tickets.
Scammers use social media platforms and websites that appear legitimate to advertise events that they never intend to host. Generally, these events are advertised on the Internet and through social media as a cultural festival, running event, or food carnival, complete with a description of the event, its date, time and venue. Attendees are often offered the option of purchasing tickets that are printable at home, and on the day of the event, arrive at the supposed venue only to realize they have been scammed. Purchasers are left with a useless ticket and without any option of a refund.
Recognizing a scam is the first step to avoid being victimized. Before purchasing tickets for an event advertised online, consumers should research the company purportedly hosting the event. Conduct an Internet search to determine if the company has put on any events in the past and to review consumer comments. Pay close attention to whether consumers have posted complaints about not receiving refunds or attending an event that did not exist or was less than advertised. If the event is only advertised on social media, look for links to an independent website or event phone number. Be wary of first-time events that require you to purchase tickets only in advance.
With the vast number of high-profile shows and sporting events in Nevada, consumers should also be wary of counterfeit or duplicate tickets. Counterfeit tickets are not always easy to spot. As with fake events, consumers should also take care to do research before purchasing tickets for events from a non-primary vendor.
The Office of the Nevada Attorney General suggests the following additional tips to avoid being scammed:
- Whenever possible, use a credit card to pay for any event ticket. Using a credit card may afford you the option of stopping payment or requesting a refund through your credit card company. With cash, there is no way to get your money back.
- Avoid purchasing tickets from any vendor asking you to pay by wire transfer or a prepaid card.
- Strive to use the venue’s physical or online vendor to purchase tickets for any event.
- Purchasing tickets through an unfamiliar or unofficial website or platform should be avoided.
- When purchasing secondary sales tickets, only do so from sellers that are advertised on the venue’s website. The secondary seller should disclose to purchasers clear details and terms about the transaction and refund policy.
- Ensure you are provided with the location of your seat(s) represented by your purchased tickets, as well as when the tickets will ship or be available for pick up.
Consumers who believe they have been a victim of a fake event or counterfeit ticket scam may file a complaint with the Office of the Nevada Attorney General.