CHICAGO – As the summer concert and festival season is under way across Illinois, Attorney General Kwame Raoul today issued guidance to help residents avoid common ticket scams.

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Raoul cautioned that buying tickets from a third-party vendor or private party increases the risk for fraud and inadvertently purchasing counterfeit tickets. Raoul also warned residents to avoid paying for tickets with anything other than a credit card, if possible, which offers additional protections should a sale be fraudulent.

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“The proliferation of smart phones and online marketplaces have fundamentally changed the way many tickets are purchased for concerts and other entertainment events,” Raoul said. “While the emergence of smart technology has simplified the way we live our lives, bad actors use that same technology to take advantage of consumers. I encourage all Illinoisans to be vigilant this summer when purchasing tickets to avoid falling victim to scammers.”

Raoul encouraged individuals to consider the following tips before purchasing tickets:

  • Keep an eye out for fake or non-secure websites. Secure websites typically begin with “https,” where the “s” stands for secure. Secure websites also display a lock graphic in the search bar. Check the validity of a website by searching the website name with the word “scam” or “fake,” as well as by checking with the Better Business Bureau.
  • Know who the venue is using to sell tickets. Ticket brokers buy tickets from primary sellers or other private parties and resell them to the public. Determine whether the broker is a member of the National Association of Ticket Brokers and the Better Business Bureau.
  • Don’t buy tickets from private parties that you do not know. Avoid online offers from message boards or social media platforms posted by people you do not know.
  • Do not pay for a ticket with a gift card, peer-to-peer transaction app, wire transfer or cryptocurrency. Be suspicious of any seller who does not offer the option to pay with a credit card.
  • Call the venue in advance of the event to verify whether a wristband or a ticket is fake.
  • Understand any terms and conditions attached to a ticket sale. When purchasing a ticket online, thoroughly read through the website and seller’s policies. Most legitimate sellers offer guarantees regarding the timely delivery and authenticity of the ticket. Be aware of any day-of event requirements that tickets be shown through an app or other electronic means.
  • Be a savvy shopper. When buying online, always be aware of whether you are buying tickets at face value and whether all fees are being disclosed from the beginning of the transaction to the end. If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Be wary of buy-now-pay-later and layaway products when purchasing tickets on plans. A missed payment can negatively affect your credit score. What’s more, some plans have high interest rates that may not be fully apparent at checkout or make automatic payments from your account as a default setting.

Attorney General Raoul encourages those who believe they have been the victim of fraud to file a complaint on the Attorney General’s website or to call one of the Attorney General’s Consumer Fraud Hotlines:

1-800-386-5438 (Chicago)
1-800-243-0618 (Springfield)
1-800-243-0607 (Carbondale)
1-866-310-8398 (Spanish-language hotline)

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