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UTR Guide To Avoiding Ticket Scammers

UTR Guide To Avoiding Ticket Scammers

Annabel Kean / C.C. / Tuesday 18th August, 2020 12:20PM

Ticket scamming — where fraudsters attempt to sell non-existent tickets via social media — has rapidly become an infodemic in itself during the Covid-19 era, especially as Aotearoa is one of the only countries in the world where live events have been able to take place unrestricted in recent times. A casual glance at some high profile Auckland Facebook event listings for this week (which are all cancelled due to Alert Level 3) reveals a seemingly endless array of bots trying to sell each other obviously fake tickets (to view a screengrab follow this safe link here), which would be darkly humorous if not for the fact they're trying to rip you off.

The first lesson in Ticket Scammers 101 is to forgive yourself for any past or future swindles. Scammers and bots evolve very quickly, so even the most web wise purchasers are at risk of being duped. Recently, a fan of The Beths came across someone selling a ticket after the show had sold out. As a test, they checked out the seller's name and email address online to make sure it wasn't a scam, transferred some money, received a phoney (albeit convincing) ticket email — and then of course the seller disappeared. While clearly the best way to avoid stress is to buy tickets for shows via UTR before they sell out, if you do find yourself in a tight spot and must buy secondhand, we've compiled our best tips to check a sale is real before sealing the deal....

1.  Don't buy tickets from people you don't know (avoid stranger danger). At the very least, a friend of a friend.

2.  Don't buy tickets for events which obviously can't take place eg. live shows in regions experiencing Level 3 Alert (Auckland this week).

3.  Don't look within a social media event listing for ticket resales (that's where the bad guys lurk) — ask friends.

  Legit check the seller's social media profile — do they live in New Zealand? Do they have any friends? Scammers love to use photos of parents with their kids for fake accounts.

5.  Is the Facebook event the real one? Check who the event 'hosts' are, and double-check the band have listed the exact same event on their own page.

  If the tickets were originally on sale via UTR, ask us! You can check your UTR ticket details via our Helpdesk. Alternatively, contact the original ticket sales outlet and they may be able to confirm if tickets are legit or not (we can't check non-UTR tickets sorry).

Here’s a recent example of someone trying to sell tickets in the comments of The Beths upcoming Auckland show...

Red flags:

•  Selling more than one ticket (to get more money)
•  Not specifying what the event is
•  Asking people to message them privately
•  Profile indicates they’re not in New Zealand
•  They’ve got no photos and no friends

If you're an events organiser:

If you're a local events organiser, please keep an eye on, moderate or disable your Facebook event(s) comments section to help avoid potential grief for Aotearoa music fans.


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