SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) – Consumers who buy tickets for concerts and sporting events through third party venders like Craigslist are taking the risk that those tickets are worthless. That’s because some scalpers use these third party sites to sell tickets that have been reported as lost or stolen, a declaration that renders the ‘hard copy’ ticket unusable.

“This is a big problem for fans,” said Ticketmaster’s Jacqueline Peterson. “We know who originally purchased the tickets from us but that doesn’t necessarily mean that is the same person who sold these tickets to this fan.”

A Music fan, who asked to be identified only as Jay, experienced this scam firsthand. This April Jay bought concert tickets on Craigslist to see Rihanna at San Jose’s HP Pavilion. The tickets were hard copies and looked real. They also set Jay back about $240 bucks.

Unfortunately, she never got to see Rihanna’s show. Jay was turned away at the door. A scan of the bar code on the bottom of the hard copy ticket alerted the doorman that the seats were already in use by another party.

“I was just in shock and I really didn’t know what to say or do at the time,” said Jay.

Peterson said that this happens too often. Scalpers will re-sell the bogus tickets again and again through sites like Craigslist and other third party re-sellers. Peterson said Ticketmaster advises consumers to buy tickets directly from the on-line retailer itself, the box office, or a reseller that offers a money back guarantee.

“I am sure that there are thousands of people that experience the same thing,” said Jay.

In the meantime, Ticketmaster has offered Jay a $240 credit so she can catch another concert. And Ticketmaster said it will continue to work with law enforcement to stop the scalping of lost or stolen tickets.


(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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