NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — With less than a month before the global pop star takes to Nissan Stadium, fans who didn’t get into the presale for “The Era’s Tour” are desperately trying to find tickets.
Over 3.5 million fans experienced massive technical issues while trying to buy tickets for Taylor Swift’s 2023 tour, and several more fans were left disappointed after Ticketmaster canceled the originally planned general public sale.
Now, scammers are taking advantage of fans searching social media platforms for people reselling tickets. It’s a problem that has grown, not only with the demand for Taylor Swift tickets, but over the last few years.
In 2022, the Better Business Bureau received over 140 reports about ticket scams related to sporting events, concerts, theatre, and more. Ashleigh Christine, a lifelong Taylor Swift fan, said she was one of the latest victims.
“I tried to get tickets whenever the presale was going on, and I was unfortunately not one of the people who got chosen for the presale code,” Christine said. “So, with them not doing the public on sale, this is the only way for me to try and get tickets.”
While scrolling Facebook, Christine said she came across a post from a woman who claimed to be selling two tickets for one of the tour dates in Nashville. Christine clicked on her Facebook profile and saw what appeared to be an average person.
“I went through her profile, and she’s got pictures of her kids, and she’s got where she works,” Christine said. “All these things that you would never imagine somebody who’s scamming you is going to have on their profile.”
When asked for proof, the woman sent her screenshots of the tickets. At the time, Christine said she “100%” believed the tickets were real. She transferred the first half of the money, $250, to the woman through Zelle, a mobile payment app.
But then the woman claimed that she had to transfer both tickets at the same time and asked for another $250 for the second ticket. Christine obliged and transferred her the rest of the money through Apple Pay. However, that’s when things began to go wrong.
“She kept saying she was going to send me the tickets,” Christine said. “It was like six or eight hours of her continuously (saying) ‘I’m going to send you the tickets as soon as my husband gets home, he has them on his phone’.”
After several hours, Christine said the woman eventually told her that her husband was upset with the price she was selling the tickets for and that he “wanted her to sell them for more money.”
“So, either I had to send her more money or she was going to send me the money back,” Christine said. “I asked for the money back and that went on for another six hours… Eventually she says that she sent the money and then blocks me.”
However, Christine said the money was never returned. Despite reporting the issue to her bank, Christine said she was told “there was nothing they could do.”
She had been saving up money for the concert, but now having lost $500, Christine said she doesn’t expect to be able to afford tickets.
“It’s very frustrating. I feel like she’s probably done this to more than just me, and I’m very upset that this has probably happened to other people,” she said. “This could have happened to people who were trying to get tickets for their kids for their birthdays.”
That same profile claiming to sell tickets has posted in several Facebook groups across Middle Tennessee, including a group in Hendersonville, where Christine first came across the scam in early April.
While many of the posts have now been removed, Christine has taken to Facebook to warn other people looking for tickets. She hopes that her story will help prevent others from falling victim to scams.
The BBB also warns consumers to be smart when searching for tickets to ensure they are purchasing from a trustworthy source.
The BBB recommends buying only from trusted vendors and using a payment method like PayPal that comes with protection. Debit cards, wire transfers, or cash transactions are risky because if the tickets are fraudulent, you won’t be able to get your money back.
Consumers should also be wary of people selling tickets at low prices, according to the BBB. Advertisements for tickets being sold at much cheaper prices than the average resell cost are more likely to be scams.
If unsure whether something is a scam, the BBB suggests calling customer service, or in this case Ticketmaster, to verify that a ticket is legitimate. To find out more tips on how to avoid ticket scams, click here.
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“Don’t fall for the scam. Be careful what websites you’re finding tickets on. Just because it’s on a local Facebook page doesn’t mean somebody’s not going to try and scam you,” Christine said. “The one thing I would like is for this not to happen to anyone else.”