Don’t Get Scammed

I’m sure that you are like most people – you are WAY too smart to get caught in some sort of silly scam. However, you just never know…

Maybe you or a loved one is coming home from deployment, and there’s a super special concert or play or monster truck rally that you really want to attend.  And there are no tickets to be found anywhere.  And so you start checking the internet…

And there they are, awesome seats right in the middle, up high enough to see well but still near the bottom, and the price isn’t too bad.  And your excitement overcomes your smarts and you buy agree to buy them.  The seller is in a big city a few hours away, so the seller suggests some sort of express mail/Western Union exchange dealio.  And you are so excited that you readily agree, even though it seems a little unusual to you.

Hopefully, you have come to your senses and realized that this is NOT a good idea.  Because it is probably not a good idea, and you’ll probably send your money and never see the tickets, and the person will mysteriously disappear.

The Western Union/express mail scheme is just one of hundreds of event ticket scams that are being used every day, all over the world.  Unfortunately, many of them are hard to detect and even if you do as much due diligence as possible, you can still find yourself at the entrance to the event without valid tickets.

Not to say that you can’t purchase tickets through some unusual methods, but there are ways to be sure that you are getting real tickets from a real seller and you aren’t going to be ripped off.

  • Buy your tickets through legitimate broker sites, such as StubHub or
  • If you buy from a scalper, check the ticket carefully.  Make sure it is for the actual show you are hoping to see, that the seats are together, etc.
  • Always transfer money in a way that can be traced:  Paypal is good, wire transfer is OK, Western Union, Moneygram, or other wire services are usually  NOT OK.
  • Avoid deals using allegedy shipping or escrow services.
  • Be extremely careful accepting checks or money orders for payment – these are easily counterfeited.
  • Do not share any personal information such as bank account numbers, social security numbers, eBay or Paypal info, etc.

If you are considering purchasing those “must have” tickets through an individual that you do not know, do a quick internet search of the details and the word “scam” before you proceed.  While there are many types of scams, there are rarely new scams and the old scams have all been regularly reported online.  Us your street smarts and the power of the search engine to decrease your chances of getting scammed.

About the Author

Kate Horrell
Kate Horrell is a military financial coach, mom of four teens, and Navy spouse. She has a background in taxes and mortgage banking, and a trove of experience helping other military families with their money. Follow her on twitter @realKateHorrell.