Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Steer Clear of Summer Sadness by Avoiding Festival Cons

With summer just around the corner, it is time to start planning your summer vacations, concerts, and BBQ’s.  But before you start booking your weekends with fun runs and food festivals, BBB Cleveland warns to be aware of festival scams. Scammers tempt attendees into buying tickets for events, promising them all-you-can-eat buffets, live music and fun, but the reality may be different.

Social media and online ads take you to eye-catching websites with great pictures and promotions promising would-be attendees affordable food and fun. All you have to do is enter your credit card information to buy tickets.

In reality, some ticket holders show up for events and find  a crowd of frustrated ticket holders to a festival that either never existed or fell far short of organizers’ promises.

Before you purchase tickets for your next big summer festival, there are a few things you should know:
  • Research before purchasing. Search online for the name of the festival and make sure the name advertised matches the website. Scammers often use names that sound similar to real festivals. Check BBB.org and BBB Scam Tracker to see if reports have been filed about the event.

  • Check for (working) contact information: Be sure the festival website has a phone number, physical address, and email address. Be wary of sites that make it hard to reach someone, such as those that rely on a contact form instead of offering a customer service phone number.

  • Prices too good to be true: There is no way a festival can offer tickets at extremely low prices without losing money. If the prices are much lower than elsewhere, it's likely a scam

  • Claims too good to be true: Do a little online research to see if claims add up. If a music festival offers top entertainment, check out those bands’ actual touring schedule. See what other users or news outlets have said about the festival in the past.

  • Pay with a credit card: You can dispute the charges if the business doesn't come through. Be careful of online sellers that don't accept credit cards.

For more information visit bbb.org/festivalfraud

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