THE ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY SPEAKS OUT ABOUT AVOIDING TICKET FRAUD
Avoiding Ticket Scams Is More Important Than Ever As Cultural Venues Re-launch Events
As cultural organizations begin selling tickets for their upcoming seasons and live events, now is the time for consumers to guard themselves against fraudulent ticket sales. Ticket fraud and related scams can take a significant emotional and financial toll on individuals. Starting July 15, consumers can head to SafeTixUT.com, a resource of the Utah Cultural Alliance (UCA), to learn quick and simple ways to avoid purchasing fraudulent tickets and support their favorite cultural institutions.
Despite the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic on the cultural industry, fraudulent ticket sales and associated scams are all too common in the state of Utah. Ticket resellers often sell tickets online that they do not yet possess or sell the same ticket numerous times and the first patron to arrive at the venue is the only one who gets the actual seats for a performance. These types of scams cause extreme financial and emotional burden and stress for consumers. To begin addressing this issue, UCA worked with Representative Lowry V. Snow, alongside Senator Kirk A. Cullimore, to craft and pass bill H.B. 242, Ticket Reseller Amendments during the 2021 General Session of the Utah State Legislature.
“Speculative ticketing, where resellers place tickets for sale online that they don’t actually possess, is extremely predatory but not illegal,” said Representative Lowry V. Snow. “H.B. 242 takes a step in the right direction in penalizing ticket resellers who fail to provide the agreed upon tickets.”
As fraudulent sales and ticket scams continue, it is important for consumers to know how to avoid these situations. Starting July 15, consumers can visit SafeTixUT.com, the UCA’s new, free resource page, to learn how to avoid purchasing fraudulent tickets and what to do if they have been defrauded. Suggestions listed on SafeTixUT.com include:
- Do not purchase tickets to events before the official on sale/pre-sale date as they are most likely fraudulent
- Ideally, tickets should be purchased through an authorized ticket seller such as NowPlayingUtah.com, ArtTix.org, or Ticketmaster.com
- When purchasing in the secondary market, look to sites like StubHub that self police instead of classifieds or social media
- Purchase tickets primarily using either a credit or debit card
- If fraud has occurred, consumers can file a complaint with the Division of Consumer Protection by visiting https://dcp.utah.gov/ and clicking on "File a Complaint."
"Unfortunately we see ticket fraud far too often at our venues, especially when a show is in high demand, like Sundance Film Festival, the Nutcracker, or a touring Broadway show," said Matt Castillo, Division Director for Salt Lake County Arts & Culture. "It is heartbreaking to turn someone away from a show because their tickets are fake or they've bought duplicate seats. We encourage consumers to call the venue directly if they have doubts about a ticket seller and ask them to confirm that the seller is legitimate."
“Just today, we had 4 different calls asking why a performance was being cancelled,” said Jonathan Miles, Vice President of Marketing & Public Relations at Utah Symphony | Utah Opera. “After some research, we found these individuals had purchased tickets from a second-hand reseller who was unable to secure tickets before they sold out and was reporting that the event was cancelled instead of stating the truth.”
As cultural venues begin re-launching ticket sales, it is more important than ever for consumers to be aware of ticket scams and do their research to avoid fraudulent ticket sellers. The COVID-19 pandemic has heavily impacted the cultural industry with a total revenue loss of over $83 million and a loss of over 25,000 jobs. Speculative ticket sales and ticket scams exacerbate these losses, draining resources from cultural organizations and significantly affecting consumers. The resources found on SafeTixUT.com and through our various UCA Member pages give consumers and organizations the information necessary to combat these predatory practices.
About Utah Cultural Alliance
The Utah Cultural Alliance (UCA) is the industry association for arts, culture, and entertainment in the state of Utah. As the industry association, UCA advocates for, communicates, and amplifies the value of culture and supports creative professionals. To do this, UCA provides professional career development resources via career development and networking events throughout the year. In addition, UCA amplifies the value of culture through the Culture Bytes podcast, Culture Corner blog series, NowPlayingUtah.com, Free Night event, and various data impact projects released periodically. NowPlayingUtah.com serves as the official cultural event resource across the state of Utah where consumers may find listings for over 8,000 events annually. The site receives over 1 million visitors annually.
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