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Avoiding Fake Ticketmaster Tickets

PenaltykillMy good friend torturedkingsfan secured two tickets to Game 4 of the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals between his beloved Los Angeles Kings and the New Jersey Devils. The girl who sold them to him said she was a season ticket holder who had gotten better seats and was selling hers for face value. They looked real enough but sadly, when he got to the game the tickets were ‘fake’.

As a full season ticket holder I know for a fact that even the originally printed tickets are not always guaranteed to get you in to a game. One of the features of being a full season ticket holder to teams using Ticketmaster as their ticket management agent (which I think is most if not all professional sports franchises) is the ability to ‘forward’ tickets. This means I can log into the ticket management system and email another copy of the tickets to someone else. Once I do that the bar codes on my original tickets are deactivated. If I forward them again, then the previously forwarded tickets’ bar codes are also deactivated, and so on. There’s nothing stopping someone from reselling the original tickets even though they don’t work any more.

Some suggestions to avoid these scams is to buy only from a guaranteed reseller. One of course is StubHub. StubHub takes a credit card from the seller to cover any problems with the tickets. Ticketmaster’s own reseller site is also a safe place. If you look for tickets on Ticketmaster and the event is sold out they’ll often offer you an opportunity to buy from TicketExchange, their reseller marketplace. Sometimes TicketExchange is ‘rebranded’ by the franchise that issues the tickets, but as long as you link directly from the team’s website or from Ticketmaster you should be okay.

Otherwise torturedkingsfan said one strategy is try and take a picture of the seller standing next to their car showing the license plate. If they’re not willing to do that, walk away.

Anyone else have suggestions on how to avoid scams?

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