LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Nevada Attorney General Aaron D. Ford warned consumers Tuesday to be alert when purchasing tickets from a reseller or for events advertised online.
Event-related scams are on the rise, according to a release from Ford's office, and Nevada’s popularity as a tourist destination makes it a prime target for selling fake events and counterfeit tickets.
“My office strives to protect every Nevadan from scammers,” Ford said. “I encourage consumers to think carefully about any opportunity that sounds too good to be true. If you notice suspicious activity or fall victim to a ticket reseller or event scam, my office wants to hear from you.”
Scammers use social media platforms and websites that appear legitimate to advertise events that they never intend to host, the release warned. Generally, these events are advertised as cultural festivals, running events, or food carnivals, complete with a description of the event, its date, time and venue. Attendees are often offered the option of purchasing tickets that are printable at home, and on the day of the event, arrive at the supposed venue only to realize they have been scammed, the release said.
Before purchasing tickets for an event advertised online, consumers should research the company purportedly hosting the event by conducting an internet search to determine if the company has put on events in the past and to review consumer comments. Consumers should pay attention to whether others have posted complaints about not receiving refunds or attending an event that did not exist or was less than advertised, Ford recommended. If the event is only advertised on social media, look for links to an independent website or event phone number, and be wary of first-time events that require you to purchase tickets only in advance.
Consumers should also be wary of counterfeit or duplicate tickets because of the vast number of events in Nevada. Counterfeit tickets are not always easy to spot, and as with fake events, consumers should do research before purchasing tickets for events from a non-primary vendor.
Ford's office suggests the following additional tips to avoid being scammed:
• When possible, use a credit card to pay for any event ticket. Using a credit card may afford you the option of stopping payment or requesting a refund through your credit card company. With cash, there is no way to get your money back.
• Avoid purchasing tickets from any vendor asking you to pay by wire transfer or pre-paid card.
• Strive to use the venue’s physical or online vendor to purchase tickets for any event. Avoid purchasing tickets through an unfamiliar or unofficial website or platform.
• When purchasing secondary sales tickets, only do so from sellers that are advertised on the venue’s website. The secondary seller should disclose clear details and terms about the transaction and refund policy.
• Ensure you are provided with the location of your seat(s) represented by your purchased tickets, as well as when the tickets will ship or be available for pick up.
Consumers who believe they have been a victim of a fake event or counterfeit ticket scam may file a complaint with the Nevada attorney general's office.