Buying tickets to an event can be stressful. Whether you’re lining up in person or constantly refreshing your browser, it’s often a nail biting process of waiting and hoping. While ticketing companies have consistently upgraded technology and policies to discourage scalping and scams, the scammers have kept pace and purchasing tickets online can still be a minefield. Here’s Beyond Bank’s guide to safely buying tickets online.
Use the official channels
Most ticketed events in Australia will have an official ticket supplier. You will probably be familiar with Ticketek, Ticketmaster, and Ticketbooth – these are large, reputable companies that you can trust. Where possible, you should stick to the official ticketing channels. Whatever the event you’re hoping to attend, there will be an official supplier listed along with the material being used to promote the event. Going to the physical box office is always your best bet, but if logistics make this difficult, the official websites are good too.
Credit cards offer greater protection
In 2017, credit card security  is of huge importance, and virtually every major card offers some kind of protection against fraud. Beyond Bank’s Visa credit  and debit card  options both feature smart security chips, Verified by Visa (to ensure it’s you making the purchase) and a zero liability policy (meaning you won’t be held responsible for unauthorized payments).
To ensure you’re using your card on a secure ticketing website, look for the following:
- A small padlock icon near the search bar in your browser
- The website begins with “https” (the S stands for SECURE)
- The name of the site in the address bar will turn green, for “good to go.”
If you’re on an official ticketing company’s website and these features are missing, you can always give them a call to find out more.
If it seems too good to be true, it is
If the official channels are sold out and you are still keen to attend the event, you may be looking to buy a ticket on the secondary market. This is where the biggest risks come into buying tickets and you should approach this with great caution. Once an event has sold out, ticket holders may be willing to sell you theirs at a profit, which is known as scalping.
Alternately, opportunistic scammers may be offering the same but with forgeries of the official tickets. In the case of forgeries, these tickets are often offered at regular price or below, as a means to sell as many as possible before the forger is outed. If you see a deal on a ticket for a sold out event that seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Organise a face to face transaction
If you think you’ve located some legitimate tickets from a seller who isn’t taking advantage of high demand and low supply, the best way to move forward is it to meet them in person to make the transaction. This way you can get a good look at what you’re buying before you hand over the cash, and you’ve also got a greater record of who you purchased it off. If you met this person online, it’s advisable never to directly deposit funds into their account. If you absolutely MUST complete the transaction online, it’s better to use a secure payment method with buyer protection policy such as PayPal.
It’s better to be safe than sorry
If you’re being scammed, you’re going to be out of pocket as well as missing the event. If you can’t get hold of tickets through a sufficiently legitimate channel, it’s not worth taking the risk. Additionally, ticket companies don’t always release all the tickets at once. In some cases, particularly in the arts, if an event sells out quickly the promoters will announce a second show, or a move to a bigger venue – both of which give you a second chance at tickets. Further, if you set up an account with the industry leading ticketing outlets, you can often get early bird access to certain types of events, ensuring you get a ticket for a fair price and without risk.
Unfortunately, if you do provide your card details to a scam company you have effectively authorised and participated in the transaction and therefore zero liability does not apply.
However, if you don’t receive your tickets or a service hasn’t been provided, we can look at other chargeback options. Please contact us on 13 25 85 to discuss your options.
For more advice about how to protect your money and livelihood, contact Beyond Bank  today.