Remember when music fans would camp overnight and line up for countless hours to buy concert tickets? Those days are gone. Now tickets can be purchased online in a matter of minutes, without the need to tug along a lawn chair. Even though online ticketing can save you some time, it can also present some risks for your safety online. If you’re a concertgoer buying tickets online, cyber criminals may target you to try and scam you out of your money or steal your personal info. Thankfully, there are some easy things you can do to protect yourself when buying tickets to your favorite concert or festival.
With respect to purchasing tickets from a website that is linked or connected to the concert or band the first thing you want to do is verifying that a site is trustworthy. Look for things like sales, returns, and privacy policies. Check to see if there is a real physical address and phone number for the business. Also too you might want to:
- Double check that the web address begins with https:// (“s” is for secure!)
- Pay by credit card instead of sending cash or a cheque in the mail.
- Never use public Wi-Fi to make purchases online.
Online auctions are a popular way to buy tickets to a sold-out show, or get tickets below the retail price. But they’re also popular amongst fraudsters and identity thieves. So keep in mind:
- If an item’s sale price is too good to be true, it most likely is either fraud or counterfeit.
- Review the seller’s feedback rating. If it is negative and you become doubtful of their trustworthiness, take your business elsewhere.
- Place your bid and complete your transaction on the auction site. Steer clear if the seller wants to negotiate by email.
- Keep a paper trail of receipts, emails and any other correspondence.
With respect to classified sites like NLClassifides or Kijji where the seller is most likely within the same city or town as you he number one rule to remember is to always transact in person. In fact, I’d recommend meeting the seller at a place where you can actually have the tickets verified and authenticated, like the venue itself. The majority of scams in this section happen when transactions occur using online money transfers like Western Union or MoneyGram. Fraudsters will ask that potential buyers send a deposit, or the full amount, before they send the tickets. They typically disappear once the money has been received.
Everybody wants something for nothing, and contests can be super enticing. Unfortunately, they’re another way for cybercriminals to collect information through contest entry forms. Here are some clues that it could be a scam:
- Bad grammar and misspelled words. What reputable company would send out an email full of typos?
- Emails from “large corporations” sent from a Hotmail or Gmail account. Legitimate companies don’t use these accounts for business.
- You’ve won!! Even though you haven’t entered anything.
- You’re told to call a 1-900 number to claim your prize. There is always a charge for calling a 1-900 number.
Finally, if you suspect that a website or seller is fraudulent, or that you may have been a victim of fraud, you can contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at www.antifraudcentre.ca or by calling 1-888-495-8501.