Festival Goers Fooled by Fake Tickets and Events

This summer, don’t fall for a festival scam. Scammers are tempting would-be festival goers into buying tickets for events promising all-you-can-eat crabs, live music and other fun. But in reality, either the ticket or the event itself is fake.

Festival Picture

How the Scam Works:

You see a great deal on tickets to a summer festival in your city, usually through a social media link. For a reasonable entrance fee, the festival offers delicious food such as all-you-can-eat crabs, live music, and/or craft beer and wine. You click the link, and it takes you to a website to buy tickets. Just enter your credit card information, and you are set.

Don’t do it! Better Business Bureaus across North America have reported fake festival sign-ups. Victims purchase tickets and show up at the time and location, only to find a crowd of frustrated ticket holders. Other times, the festival is real, but the tickets are fake.

How to Spot a Fake Festival Scam:

Do your research before purchasing. Search online for the name of the festival and make sure the name advertised matches the website. Scammers often use names that sound similar to those of real festivals.

Check for (working) contact information: Be sure the festival website has a phone number and email address.

Prices too good to be true: There is no way a festival can offer tickets at extremely low prices without losing money. If the prices are much lower than elsewhere, it’s likely a scam.

What Can You Do?

Pay with a credit card: You can dispute the charges if the business doesn’t come through. Be wary of online sellers that don’t accept credit cards.

Look for secure sites: The website should begin with https (the extra “s” is for secure) and have a little lock symbol on the address bar.

Avoid tickets sold on Craigslist and other free online listings:  Scammers are skilled at providing realistic tickets and fake receipts. Check out third-party ticket sites at bbb.org before making purchases.

For More Information

Learn more about festival scam in the Federal Trade Commission’s recent alert.  To find out more about other scams, check out BBB Scam Stopper (bbb.org/scam). To report a scam, go to BBB Scam Tracker (bbb.org/scamtracker).

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