As spring is in full swing, so are the advertisements for upcoming concerts. I, for one, look forward to getting on my Harley, snagging easy parking, and taking in a few shows this year. And, as with all seasonal activities and events, scammers are gearing up to take advantage of another opportunity to prey upon unsuspecting victims looking for a last-minute deal.

There are many options for purchasing tickets online, but not all are safe and secure. One Forbes blogger revealed how he was scammed when attempting to purchase NFL tickets. And how did he encounter these scammers? Through Craigslist.

“The seller had a Gmail account and a cell phone number and a plausible-ish explanation about why he couldn’t use them, and he was willing to meet her in person to hand them over, and they looked more or less like the last tickets I bought. So we bought them. And we went to the stadium gate, where the guy who scanned our bar codes told us we had to go to Will Call, and the lady at Will Call took one look at our tickets and pronounced them fakes.”

Ticket scams have been occurring for years. When a ticket is nothing but a piece of paper with a barcode that will be scanned at the event entrance, counterfeiting is child’s play. Some events provide wristbands to ticketed attendees, which can also be easily faked.

To avoid scams, buy tickets directly from the box office, the venue’s official ticket exchange, or any other popular website or major brand specializing in ticket sales. The blocks of tickets sold by resellers are generally legit, but have the reseller walk you to the gate and get confirmation from a ticketing agent before handing over any money.

Exercise extreme caution when using Craigslist. Do not trust watermarks, barcodes, and other low-tech security features that make tickets slightly more difficult to recreate, but are often lost on the general public when it comes to determining authenticity. A ticket may look real, until a ticket agent scans it and you are denied entry.
One way that online ticketing providers are fighting back is through the use of device reputation technology. This allows them to uncover computers and related devices that are responsible for fraudulent activity at the point of sale, and deny transactions from these devices. This kind of visibility gives ticketing services businesses a powerful advantage by allowing the to easily identify and block scam artists before the damage is done. One ticketing provider alone reduced total fraud losses by 98% with device reputation.

Robert Siciliano, personal security and identity theft expert contributor to iovation, discusses identity theft  in front of the National Speakers Association. (Disclosures)

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