Swifties are descending on Detroit as Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour has two shows this weekend at Ford Field.
It’s been such a hot ticket, that when the tour went on sale, her fans crashed the Ticketmaster website. That left many fans without tickets and desperate for a last minute chance to buy their way into the show. With that desperation, comes scammers looking to take advantage of Swift fans.
Attorney General Dana Nessel put out an alert Friday reminding fans to be on the lookout for ticket scams. Her tips for last second buyers include:
Know your vendor - Make sure you are buying from a reputable website, especially before providing any personal financial information. Anyone can set up a “spoof” website with a web address that is similar to the legitimate ticket seller’s address. Aside from potential licensing and trademark violations, “spoof” websites may offer consumers overpriced or counterfeit tickets and expose the consumer to identity theft.
Do your research - If you are unfamiliar with a particular ticket vendor, you can call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Team at 877-765-8388 and ask if we have any complaints on file regarding that seller. Remember, however, that the absence of filed complaints does not guarantee a seller’s legitimacy; it simply means that we have not received any complaints concerning the vendor. As an additional resource, try researching the ticket seller on the Better Business Bureau’s national website.
Use credit - If you purchase tickets online, especially via an online auction site, it is recommended that you complete your transaction using a credit card. Purchasing tickets with a credit card often provides you with protections that you would not otherwise have if you purchased the tickets using cash, check, or apps like Venmo and Cash App. Added protections with credit include the ability to dispute a charge if an event is canceled, or if you receive counterfeit tickets that a venue refuses to honor. Try to choose sellers with long histories of satisfied customers, and make sure the online bid amount is listed in American dollars.
Shop securely - If a website begins with “https,” the “s” indicates that the website is “secure.” Typically, the “s” will not appear in the web address until you access the order page of the site where you are asked to enter your personal information. Another indicator of a secure website is a graphic of a closed lock located at the bottom of your screen. Secure websites take precautions to ensure that others cannot see and copy the personal information you provide.
Inspect your tickets - If you plan to purchase tickets from a source other than an established venue or official outlet, you can reduce your risk of arriving at the venue only to be turned away by physically inspecting the tickets. Check the time, date, and location on the tickets to ensure that this information matches your expectations. Review the listed seat assignments and call the venue to ensure that they represent validly assigned positions within the facility. The venue may also be able to provide you with information about the unique features of authentic tickets. Remember, if you’re getting a deal that seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Contact the Attorney General if you have a Complaint - If you have a complaint regarding tickets you purchased online, please contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Team at:
- Consumer Protection Team P.O. Box 30213Lansing, MI 48909517-335-7599
- Fax: 517-241-3771
- Toll free: 877-765-8388
- Online complaint form
“These are markedly sophisticated schemes to defraud people,” said Nessel.
Don’t blame me, blame the people looking to take advantage of victims and setting up for a cruel summer.
Whether you’re a Swiftie looking to get last minute tickets or a regular grandma wishing to help her grandkids, you aren’t out of the woods.
“Really what we want to make sure people know is that they have to be on guard 24/7 because these schemes are ever-changing, they are hyper sophisticated,” said Nessel.
Nessel is choosing to speak now about scams because of the Eras Tour coming to the state but it’s also a delicate time for everyone dealing with a new generation form of scamming.
“It’s not unusual for a grandson to call up his grandma and talk about his baseball game or how he’s doing in school” said Nessel. “But it is weird to ask grandma about her social security number and banking information.”
With the onset of artificial intelligence it only becomes more treacherous. However, the safeguards can be the same. Nessel has two ideas for people at home to avoid phone scams. Are you ready for it?
“It’s probably good to have codewords or a safe word that you can use with family members and friends,” said Nessel. “So that you know that it’s actually them.”
Scammers may think they are a mastermind but you also can take control of conversations, from an incoming call to an outgoing call.
“Do you know what honey? I would love to talk to you about this, but I’m going to give you a call back,” said Nessel. “Then just call up whoever it is who is purporting to be having a conversation with you and make sure it’s actually them.”
These tips also come on the heels of the state’s new retail fraud task force that has criminals seeing red. Recently stopping a $4 million EBT scam. A group that is aimed at catching scammers earlier, Nessel says that’s better than revenge.
“Ultimately this unit, in a short period of time, is going to prevent hundreds of millions of dollars being stolen in our state,” said Nessel.
Long story short, keep your eyes open.