Football season is enough to make a lot of you excited enough to spend some serious cash. But a warning, make sure any tickets you buy are the real deal.
How to avoid ticket scams in this 7NEWS Consumer Exclusive: Spotting Fake Ticket Sellers.
Penny Shaw in Spartanburg, a Clemson graduate, recently searched the popular alumni site Tigernet to look for seats.
“My husband scrolled through and found this gentleman and it looked like a great deal. You couldn’t beat these seats for visiting. It was on the 50-yard line. There were 3 rows together, 12 tickets for $1000, it was too good to be true, actually,” she said with a sigh.
HOW THE SCAM WORKS
First, the seller asked Shaw to use Google Pay, but when that didn’t work, he suggested “Walmart to Walmart” which Shaw found out was Western Union. The seller said his fiancé could pick it up at Walmart.
“He gave me his fiancé’s name, and her email and her phone number and I put it all in and I sent the money. Well immediately, I mean it wasn’t 30 seconds after it was sent, my phone rang and it was Western Union and they started asking me questions like ‘who is this person you are sending this to, have you looked at reviews on this vendor?’ Every question I answered was no. And so, he said, I’m sorry mam, but I will not move this money. And he said we see things like this all the time and this is possibly a very bad scam.”
EFFORTS TO CUT DOWN ON TICKET SCAMS
Jeff Kallin, a spokesperson for Clemson Athletics, said the university has been doing its part to cut down on ticket scams by moving entirely to mobile ticketing.
“When we were doing print-at-home tickets and hard tickets, we would see upwards of 100 to 200 counterfeit tickets a game. Now, we are generally seeing below 5 per game on a regular basis,” Kallin said.
New this year, Clemson is using proprietary technology from Ticket Master that constantly refreshes the barcode, making even screenshots obsolete.
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF
Kallin said the safest way to buy someone’s tickets is through any football program’s official primary or secondary marketplace.
Also, keep in mind that every ticket has an individual identification number that is traced back to the owner, so if you’re trying to verify if a seller’s legit, the athletic department should be able to help.
Shaw dialed the Athletic Ticket Office which revealed the seller’s name didn’t match the ticket numbers.
Keep these safety measures in mind:
- don’t rely on screenshots that can be manipulated
- verify what your digital ticket should look like
- always Google the seller
- do not give in to sellers who rush or pressure you
- if you meet in person, do so at a public place like a police station parking lot
That online search revealed the Tigers aren’t the only target.
A scammer who gave out the same name had fooled Gamecock fans, one fan warns, “I paid but they never sent the tickets.”
SCAMMERS HAVE ANSWERS FOR EVERYTHING
“He then tried to explain who his fiancé was and that she had been a victim of identity theft and he was just trying to make a good deal for Clemson fans, and I was furious at this point because you do not manipulate a Clemson Tiger that way,” Shaw said.
Shaw said the scammer also had clever answers for why the ticket screenshot had the wrong year, blaming it on Clemson, but this time Shaw wasn’t buying it.
She said she is still hunting for the right tickets, but this time her search will be different.
“We are going to be a lot safer, and we know now what to do to make sure we have legitimate tickets before we purchase them again,” Shaw said.