Protect yourself from ticket scams

Ryan Boyd
Protect yourself from ticket scams

“There is NO way to look at a ticket and determine if it is authentic.” Those are the words directly from Ticketmaster’s website.

A Hanmer Springs mum’s surprise road trip with her daughters to see Pink in Dunedin. A German tourist keen to experience a genuine All Black test match. Just two of the recent horror stories that pop up on a regular basis.

So what can you do to make sure you’re buying legitimate tickets from a legitimate seller?


Only buy from authorised retailers and resellers

The scary thing is, if you buy from a third party, there is no way to know for sure that your ticket is genuine until you try to get in.

Therefore, the safest way to ensure you have legitimate tickets to an event is to purchase them from an authorised retailer. You can find these by going through official channels, such as the artist or the venue’s website.

For example, if you want Def Leppard tickets, go to their website and find the ‘Tour Dates’ section, which will have a link directly to the authorised retailer.

However, if the event sells out before you can get your seat, some retailers such as Ticketmaster have a resale site where people can sell their tickets, with guarantees that your ticket purchase is genuine.

But sometimes it’s not so easy to know what’s real and what’s fake...


Be wary of where you click

When searching for tickets online, it’s easy in the heat of the moment to just click the first result and assume it’s the official site. But, if you do a Google search for Bloc Party tickets for example, these are the top results:


As you can see, the first result is not for the official retailer Ticketmaster, but instead an ad for a site called Viagogo, a Swiss-based ticket reseller platform where individuals can post to sell their unwanted tickets. Viagogo are currently under investigation by the Commerce Commission.

So why are their results so high in Google? Simply, they pay for it. And it pays off, with The Guardian reporting that 75% of their traffic comes from search results.


Don’t post photos of your tickets

If you do manage to buy genuine tickets for an event, it may be tempting to show your friends by posting a photo on social media.

It turns out, that’s exactly what scammers are counting on, as one way they can create fake tickets is to copy ones that excited fans post on social media.

Ticketmaster have a page on their website dedicated to this point, stating:  “On your paper or mobile ticket there is a one-of-a-kind barcode and if anyone acquires it they can make duplicate tickets to use or sell that render your tickets worthless.”


What to do if you get scammed

In the event that you do get scammed with some fake tickets, Netsafe’s advice on what to do include:

  •   First try to resolve it with the website you used

  •   If you think you’ve been misled by a resale website, make a complaint to the Commerce Commission

  •   Apply to your bank for a chargeback if you’re concerned that the order you have paid for isn’t valid and you paid by credit card