Beware of ticket offers that are too good to be true

Summer is heating up and so is demand for tickets to major concerts, festivals and events, especially with COVID-19 restrictions easing in many places.

But if this hot post sounds too good to be true, chances are it is. Consumers across the United States reported buying tickets for events that did not take place.

Scammers trick festival-goers into buying event tickets, promising unlimited food, live music and more, usually via a social media link. The social media link takes festival-goers to a website to purchase tickets. In reality, the event and the tickets are not real, leaving lots of hundreds of dollars and a great summer experience.

As with any shopping experience, be sure to stay alert to who your money is being sent to and where it is going. Be careful and do your homework when buying these tickets, especially online.

When looking for summer festival tickets, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) ​​offers these tips:

• Do your research. Research the name of the festival online and make sure it matches the name advertised on its website. Some will change their names to hide bad backgrounds. BBB offers BBB business profiles on millions of businesses. Research the ticket seller to ensure you are dealing with a reputable seller before purchasing tickets.

• Check the supplier’s website if they have one. Look for a website with the padlock on the page and “https” in the URL web address box. Also look for trustmarks on websites such as your BBB seal.

• Find the festival or supplier contact information on the festival website in case you need to email or call later.

• Be sure to check the refund and exchange policies of the festival or supplier. Always keep your receipts.

• Be careful when buying tickets sold on Craigslist and other free online ads.

• Beware of offers that are too good to be true. Don’t be forced to buy locally. Make comparisons before making a purchase decision.

• Pay by credit card. If there’s a problem, you may be able to dispute the charge with your credit card company. Never wire money to a stranger.

Michelle Gleba is the Mid-Missouri Regional Director for the Better Business Bureau.

About Valerie Wilson

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