Turn to Tara: Tips to help you avoid concert ticket scams
Facebook has become a hotbed for ticket scammers, and more victims across the tri-state are taking the bait, losing hundreds of dollars in seconds - with each scheme.
A "Belieber" from Long Island found that out the hard way, and decided to Turn to Tara.
Nursing student Emily Chertoff, 20, couldn't believe her luck when she stumbled upon a seller on a Facebook page, willing to sell her and her two younger sisters, front-section seats to a sold out Justin Bieber concert at the Barclays Center last June for only $250 each.
She even had verification for the tickets.
"So I thought what I was doing was perfect. Then she told me that her credit card isn't working. And she needs me to pay her sister. I messaged $750 from my debit card. And then they all blocked me," says Chertoff.
No longer able reach the seller or anyone on the page, Chertoff quickly realized she had been scammed.
"I mean, I was so upset about this whole situation. I called the bank immediately and they said it was my fault and they wouldn't give me the money back," she says.
The Turn to Tara team did some research and sadly - she's right. As COVID-19 restrictions ease, social media is increasingly becoming a hotbed for ticket scammers. Just last year the Better Business Bureau received more than 140 complaints alone in the tri-state area.
MORE: Turn to Tara
News 12's social media manager Shawn Brown says that the safest thing you can do is to start out by trying to buy your tickets first directly from the official vendor’s website.
"I would rather pay a little bit more knowing that I'm getting what I'm paying for," Brown says.
The Real Deal: Tips to score concert seats and not overpay
Here are some other steps to avoid ticket traps:
- Never send money without seeing the ticket first. Ask to see a screen grab!
- You should also avoid using cash apps like Venmo, because you'll have much better luck reversing charges using the PayPal Goods and Services feature.
- And if you need to use the re-sale market, stick with the more reputable sites like Ticketmaster and StubHub, because with those sites, you are typically guaranteed your money back if there's a problem.
Whereas, if you lose your money on sites like Facebook, you often are out of luck, but not always. In Chertoff's case, after Turn to Tara intervened, her bank agreed to credit back her account.
News 12 reached out to Facebook and they told us they are aware of the problem and trying to identify ways to crack down and protect ticket buyers. Below is the company's full statement:
“We invest heavily in strengthening our technology to keep scammers off our platforms, and we remove these accounts when we discover them. We also provide a number of tools to help people avoid scams and control their privacy, like safety notices, message delivery controls, blocking, and reporting. We encourage people to report suspicious messages right away so we can take action," a Meta spokesperson said.
More on information from Facebook:
- We strongly encourage people to stay wary of unexpected, unusual messages from existing contacts and report suspicious message requests right away so we can take action.
- Here are some tools that we’ve introduced to help people avoid scams:
- Safety Notices: Safety notices provide tips to educate people on spotting potential scams or imposters. These notices also offer ways to take action to block, report or ignore someone when something doesn’t seem right.
- Forwarding Limits: Forwarding limits on Messenger ensure that a message can only be forwarded to five people or groups at a time. Limiting forwarding is an effective way to slow the spread of shopping scams, viral misinformation and harmful content that is shared.
- Safer Message Requests: Message requests now come with new features to give you context for who the requestor is, bulk delete options, and blurred images or videos. We also made the delete and block options more prominent in the request thread to help people take action if they don’t want to reply to the message.
- Review Blocked Accounts: In addition to making blocking more prominent in message requests and safety notices, we provided more transparency in the privacy settings so you can easily review accounts you’ve blocked.
Got a problem? You should Turn to Tara. HERE'S HOW.