Social media is an essential tool for anyone involved in the live music business. It’s the primary way fans connect with your shows and that you connect with your fans. But social platforms’ ubiquity comes with a dark side. Scammers have flocked to social media, particularly to run concert ticket scams on Facebook Events, hoping to make a quick buck off dedicated fans who missed out on show tickets.
It’s vital everyone in the industry learns the tell-tale signs of a fraudster selling tickets they don’t actually have. By understanding these signs of online ticket fraud, you can maximize concert security while reducing the risk of fraudulent tickets for your event.
Spot online ticket fraud: Stilted language in posts and comments
The tell-tale giveaway of online ticket scams is that the seller often uses language that simply feels off. While perfect grammar certainly isn’t expected on social media, some language can tip you off to fraud. For example, you might find that the seller uses certain words or phrases that seem unusual — phrases your typical showgoer probably wouldn’t use, even if English isn’t their first language. If you find that this unusual language is used in multiple posts or comments from different sellers, chances are you’ve found a ticket scammer.
When perusing online ticket sales, also look out for misspelled words. While we all misspell a word occasionally, if the name of the event, artist, or venue is misspelled, that should alert you to a potential fake ticket online.
The devil’s in the (profile) detail
You’ve found an amazing ticket deal online, but you don’t want to be duped. Before you send any money or commit to buying the tickets, do a little reconnaissance on the seller. Check out the seller’s social media profile, and be wary of anyone without a profile picture or with a blank profile. Signs of a fraudulent profile include no biographical details, a profile that doesn’t list the city they live in, where they’re from, a workplace, anything. It’s effectively a blank profile with a nearly identical profile and cover photo. Chances are they’ve created a fake account just to run their online ticket fraud scheme.
Pay attention to how the ticket seller wants to interact. In an event tickets scam, the seller is probably going to be pushy and ask to be contacted directly, perhaps even off of the site where the tickets are being sold. They might post a suspicious URL to collect payment information. Typically, if the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Neither off-kilter English nor curious-looking profile data is necessarily enough to mark a fraudster. But if the details don’t add up — and something just doesn’t feel right — trust your gut.
Prevent fraudsters from reaching fans
If you work at a venue or throw shows, stay vigilant by monitoring social media (especially your Facebook events) closely. If your high-profile event is sold out, be especially careful, as fake ticket sites and event tickets scams for your event are likely.
Delete fraudulent posts as they crop up before fans see them. In particular, keep a close watch as the show approaches — expect scams to peak when fans are at their hungriest. While you’ll certainly be busy on the day of the show dealing with logistics, don’t let the event fall prey to scammers. They’ll often post in the days leading up to the event and on the event day as one final attempt to scam potential event-goers. Report suspicious posts to social media security channels.
Then, go one step further to ensure fans don’t get ripped off. Partner with a ticketing platform that offers verified resale services. For instance, Eventbrite partners with Lyte, a secondary ticketing partner that ensures painless, safe ticket transfer between fans who can’t make it to a show and fans who missed ticket sales the first time around. Once fans know they have a trusted place to buy and sell tickets, they’ll have no reason to take risks on shady-looking transactions.
Discover other ways to prevent online ticket fraud too. Use QR codes to scan tickets, which can make it harder for fraudsters to recreate fake tickets. When marketing your event, make it clear where you’re selling tickets so that event-goers aren’t led astray onto fraudulent sites. You can even promote legitimate ticket resale sites to protect attendees from fake ticket sites.
Ticket fraud doesn’t just hurt potential attendees. It can also damage the reputation of your event, through no fault of your own. Don’t forget — ticket fraud can happen for online events, too, so learn how to maximize safety for online events. Then, follow these tips to get smart about preventing ticket fraud to protect your next event from scammers.