Craigslist Ticket Scams

There are many varieties of Craigslist ticket scams that means that you have to be careful when purchasing tickets from anyone through Craigslist.

The tickets could be stolen or counterfeit or they could be priced far beyond the face value. The tickets may even have been used at a previous, similar event.

An example of a Craigslist ticket scam is when a scammer legitimately buys a pair of tickets to a game or concert online using a service such as TicketMaster. TicketMaster gives the buyer the option of paying for shipping a set of real paper tickets, or electing for the free 'e-ticket' option.

E-tickets are basically an e-mail you receive from TicketMaster with a barcode at the bottom of the page that you then print out. You take the printouts to the game and they are scanned like any other ticket, and you are allowed entry into the game.

The other common Craigslist ticket scams are:

1. Fake Tickets

Scammers have figured out how to use a printer to print out fake tickets that look like the real thing and then sell them to unsuspecting buyers.

Depending on the event, these tickets can cost hundreds, or in some cases, thousands of dollars. Some scammers will sell complete season tickets for a sporting team or concert series. But when the buyer tries to use them, they’re told that the tickets are fake.

2. Selling Canceled Tickets

This is the latest and greatest in the scammers’ world. The seller will buy airline tickets with a credit card, then list the tickets for sale. As soon as they have a buyer, they will cancel the sale which renders the tickets worthless. But the buyer doesn’t know that and will believe they have a legitimate ticket until they show up at the airport and are told that the tickets were cancelled.

This leaves no recourse for the buyer because the airline didn’t sell them the tickets, the scammer did.

craigslist ticket scams

Remember this about Craigslist ticket scams:

Do your research. If you can't find the tickets you need through an authorized dealer (sold out show, etc.) and you need to turn to another online ticket reseller, it's critical to research it thoroughly. If you're looking to buy from a website selling tickets, start by checking reviews as its important to do things like inspecting the website for professionalism (if there are spelling or grammatical mistakes, that should be a red flag), and calling the business to talk to them (having no phone number should also be a red flag).

You can also call the event producer to ask if the particular site is authorized to sell tickets. If you're buying on eBay, check seller feedback, just as if you're buying on Craigslist, try to find someone trustworthy with whom you can meet face-to-face.

Pay by credit card when possible, preferably a credit card with strong anti-fraud protection that will help you if you get scammed. Avoid tickets priced well below market. As usual, if a deal sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

Tips for avoiding Craigslist Ticket scams

1. Ask for a copy of the seller's invoice stating the tickets have been completely paid for if you are buying an ENTIRE SEASON'S WORTH. If the whole amount was not paid, the seller does not have tickets, they may still have an invoice though. Check it carefully.

2. Ask the seller for their account #. It should match their name from the ticket rep and the tickets. The account # is on the top of the ticket.

Call the team or ticket agent and speak to the person's ticket rep and verify the person has an account and has tickets. People who have legitimate season tickets have no problem giving you their ticket reps name.

Always meet in person, if possible. Pay with a cashier's check versus a personal check as it protects your account information. If you pay without meeting, pay with PayPal as it protects you (especially if tickets are never sent or are fake) or send a bank check.

If the person is mailing you the tickets make sure you get some type of written receipt or contract via email stating when and how the tickets will be delivered/sent. Pay 1/2 now and the other 1/2 when the tickets are received. And make sure the person let's you know they got your money and they are sending the tickets and track your communication via email!

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