Consumer Handbook: Festival Scams Could Leave You Holding Tickets To Nonexistent Events

Jul 3, 2019


Summer is heating up, and so is the demand for tickets to major concerts, festivals and events. Use caution and do your homework when buying those tickets, especially online. 

Consumers across the U.S. have reported purchasing tickets for events that didn’t even take place. Scammers tempt festival-goers into buying tickets for events, promising all-you-can-eat food, live music and much more, usually through a social media link. The social media link takes festival-goers to a website to buy tickets. In reality, the event and tickets are not real, leaving many out of hundreds of dollars and a great summer experience. 

As with any shopping experience, make sure you stay vigilant about whom your money is sent to and where it goes. 

When looking for summer festival tickets, do your research. Look online for the name of the festival and make sure it matches the name advertised on its website. Some will change their names to disguise poor track records. Check out the vendor’s website if it has one; look for a padlock icon on the page and “https” in the URL web address box. Take note of their contact information on the website in case you need to email or call later. 

Be sure to check the festival or vendor’s refund and exchange policies, and always keep your receipts. Use caution when buying tickets sold on Craigslist and other free online listings, and never wire money to a stranger. Watch out for too-good-to-be-true deals. Don’t be pressured to buy on the spot, and do some comparison shopping before making a purchasing decision. Finally, always pay by credit card; if something goes wrong, you may be able to dispute the charges with your credit card company.