AUSTIN (KXAN) — Ticket scams are rising with high-profile events in Austin this month, like Formula 1 and Austin FC. Experts warn of scammer’s techniques and the precautions you should take to ensure your transactions are not a fraud. 

Senior Regional Director of Better Business Bureau Jason Meza said fall and summer are top periods for scams based around sporting events and major concerts that provide the fuel for scammers to attack ticket holders. 

“Consumers are online looking for tickets for better deals or sold-out events, and a scammer comes along with an offer, and you pay for the ticket and you either get a fake or you will get nothing at all” told Meza.

Meza outlines these measures to “dig a little deeper” when looking to purchase a tickets:

  1. Purchase directly from the venue
  2. Purchase directly from a trusted authorized reseller
    • Fact check their profile on BBB.org
    • Look for their history, phone numbers, and anything to see if they are a real person
  3. Watch out for name similarities between the venue 
    • Duplicated profiles: websites with added characters or numbers
  4. Use a safe payment option like a credit card instead of payment apps
    • Cash App, Venmo, Zelle – These are direct lines to your banking account for bots
  5. Beware of sponsored ads
    • Scammers can buy advertisements to be higher in searches

Meza explained that scammers will use the emotional appeal of last-minute cancellations or sold-out events to lure users into buying from them because it’s easy and convenient. Once you authorize the transaction, it is an uphill battle to prove the fraud existed to your bank, and you get nothing in return.

“Don’t wait till the last minute to verify a ticket is real. You can call ahead and verify that you have seats before for a venue; by doing that, you can ensure that you have a ticket before you show up.” 

If a bot scams you, you should start disputing as soon as possible by filing a local police report and a BBC scam tracker report and letting others know so they do not fall into similar traps.