LITTLE ROCK -- Now that musicians have resumed their live concert tours, so have scam artists, according to the Arkansas attorney general's office.
Simmons Bank Arena has contacted the attorney general's office concerning websites attempting to sell speculative tickets, which are not real tickets, to events like the upcoming Harry Styles concert, according to a news release from the AG.
Speculative listing is when unofficial sellers list tickets for sale even though they do not actually have those tickets. "This practice is fraudulent, unethical and takes advantage of fans and performers," the release said. Most venues, including Simmons Bank Arena, utilize legitimate services, such as Ticket Master Verified Fan, as their official source to purchase tickets to ensure that fans are able to purchase tickets and to prevent con artists and scalpers from ripping off consumers.
"These websites are nothing more than online scalpers who charge exorbitant fees selling fake tickets to consumers," Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said in the release. "I will always fight back against scammers and con artists who try to take advantage of hardworking Arkansans."
Rutledge's office issued the following tips to help Arkansans protect themselves when looking to buy concert tickets:
• Buying tickets from the official source verified by the venue website is the safest way to purchase a real ticket to an event.
• Only purchase from official sources during the official on sale time.
• Research the seller or broker with the Better Business Bureau and ensure they are a member of the National Association of Ticket Brokers.
• A legitimate ticket broker will offer a refund policy. Only buy tickets from a reseller that provides clear details about the terms of the transaction.
• Always use a credit card to make a ticket purchase because credit card laws provide buyers with some recourse if the tickets are fraudulent.
• Check the seats ahead of time. Ask for section, row and seat numbers to avoid obstructed views and purchasing tickets that do not exist.
• Stick with well-known ticket sellers who offer guarantees and policies that protect buyers and have the ability to investigate and restrict accounts of merchants who violate the policies.
• If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Refuse to be rushed. Scam artists often try to hurry prospective buyers into making a decision.
According to AARP, nearly 5 million consumers receive fraudulent concert, sporting event or theme park tickets each year. "We can all do our part by ensuring our neighbors, friends, and families are educated on the deceptive practices of scammers and ways to avoid them," the release said.
Consumers who think they may have purchased a counterfeit ticket can contact the National Association of Ticket Brokers at 630-510-4594 or the attorney general's Public Protection Department.
For more information and tips on how to avoid a scam, call the attorney general's office at 800-482-8982 or visit http://www.ArkansasAG.gov.