BBB warns Rolling Stones fans of fake websites offering concert tickets

Consumer agency offers ticket-buying tips ahead of April concert in Jacksonville

By Jenese Harris - Reporter/anchor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Rolling Stones are coming to Jacksonville in April and the Better Business Bureau says some scammers are trying to cash in through unsuspecting fans searching for tickets.  

The Better Business Bureau says it has heard from several consumers who have fallen victim, or nearly fallen victim, to scammers while looking for tickets online. 

According to the consumer agency, fake websites offering Rolling Stones tickets are tricking unsuspecting fans. 

So far, the BBB says, scammers are offering tickets that are not for sale or they are creating fake ticket websites that look like the real ones. 

"We had a Scam Tracker report where a person had bought tickets from an online seller and (gave) that company a debit card and expected to pay $300 and they took $900 dollars out of her account instead of $300," Tom Stephens, president of the BBB of Northeast Florida, told News4Jax on Monday.

The BBB says a second person almost fell for a ticket scam, too.   

"It looked like a scam because it said 'Ticketmasters' instead of 'Ticketmaster' in the website address," Stephens said. 

RELATED: Rolling Stones tickets go on sale for Jacksonville concert |
RESOURCE: Top ways to avoid ticket scams

According to the BBB, there are fake websites that may have an extra letter or websites that look exactly like the real ticket site but are fake.

The BBB says there are only three websites it recommends for buying tickets: 

1. Ticketmaster
2. The venue for the event
3. StubHub

"(This happens) every time there is a major event -- Super Bowl, World Series, soccer championship, whatever, Wimbledon, French Open -- you name it," Stephens said. "Any time there is a major sporting event or a major concert."

Here is some advice from the BBB to help you avoid getting ripped off when buying tickets:

Purchase from the venue: Whenever possible, use the official ticket sales agent for the venue. 

Consider your source: Know the difference between a professional ticket broker (a legitimate and accredited reseller), a ticket scalper (an unregulated and unlicensed ticket seller) and a scammer selling phony tickets.

Check out the seller/broker: Look them up on bbb.org  to learn what other customers have experienced. Check to see if they are a member of the National Association of Ticket Brokers. NATB members offer a 200 percent purchase guarantee on tickets. 

Buy only from trusted vendors: Buy online only from vendors you know and trust. Look for the lock symbol in the web address to indicate a secure purchasing system. Don’t click through from emails or online ads. The BBB says a common ticket scam trick is to create a web address that is similar to a well-known company.

Know the refund policy: You should only purchase tickets from a ticket reseller that provides clear details about the terms of the transaction. 

Use payment methods that come with protection: Always use a credit card so you have some recourse if the tickets are not as promised. Debit cards, wire transfer or cash transactions are risky because, if the tickets are fraudulent, you won’t be able to get your money back.

Be wary of advertisements: When you search the web for online tickets, advertisements for cheap tickets will often appear. Use good judgment; some of these ads are going to be ticket scams, especially if the prices are low, the BBB warns.

If you’re unsure, verify your tickets: Pay a visit to the arena where the event will be held. Present your ticket to “Will Call” (customer service) and they can verify if your ticket is legitimate and show you how to tell if a ticket is fake.

Check out the BBB Scam Tracker to find out about other reported scams or complaints.  

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