Craigslist is a great place to score tickets to sought-after concerts and sports events, but many are finding they’ve ripped off by counterfeit ticket scams.
Craigslist provides an excellent means to sell unneeded tickets to sporting events, shows, concerts, festivals, fairs or even airline tickets. All you need to do is make a post and wait for the emails and/or phone calls to start coming in. Finding deals or tickets to hot shows or “sold out” events has made it one of the first places to turn to when you want to purchase tickets, especially when they’re for premiere events.
Many of these tickets are sold for top dollar, but considering the considerable cost of tickets, even face value can mean a lot of money is going to change hands. Imagine, for example, that you find someone selling season’s tickets to all the home games played by you favorite NFL team. That could easily have a face value of $1500 for 2 good seats.
This means that you have to be careful when purchasing tickets from connections made on 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. There are a lot of scams out there awaiting the unwary. Luckily, there’s something you can do that might help you avoid going home with a counterfeit that costs nothing but a little of you time. Make sure you know what the tickets you’re purchasing are supposed to look like. Good printers are so cheap that with a little practice, anyone could create a decent looking ticket facsimile. Good enough to fool anyone that doesn’t know what the ticket is supposed to say on it and what the design is. You’d be amazed at how many people are fooled because they don’t know what the genuine tickets should look like. This won’t save you from a truly dedicated master of the counterfeit arts but it will certainly give you a major advantage when rendezvousing with a ticket seller.
Buyers and sellers should try to meet face-to-face but make sure it’s in a public place. If you’re bringing $1500 for those to season’s tickets it’s probably not a good idea to meet someone you’ve never met, alone in an isolated place late at night. A lot of crooks will settle for a few hundred. I’m not saying that you should be afraid to engage in transactions like this. I’m saying that you should but play it safe. I’ve bought and sold tickets many times through Craigslist and wouldn’t hesitate to do it again in the future.
Tips for avoiding Craigslist Ticket scams
- 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.
- 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, protects your account information. If you pay without meeting, pay with PayPal 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, track your communication via email!
- People selling tickets at face value may be selling fake or scalped tickets. This is not ALWAYS the case, but it does happen. There are tons of scams out there. Check ticket agencies for views of seating charts, the cost of tickets, the dates of games, concerts, shows, etc. Research the tickets you are buying and know what you are getting! Tickets are easily reproduced so be aware of what you are buying.