CONSUMER ALERT: Carr Warns Georgians to Lookout for Ticket Scams Ahead of Big Sporting Events in Atlanta

November 27, 2018

ATLANTA, GA – Atlanta will soon host a number of big sporting events, including the SEC Championship game, Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl, Super Bowl LIII, and a potential Atlanta United championship match. All of these events are likely to sellout, providing an opportunity for scammers to exploit consumers through the sale of fake, void or stolen tickets on the secondary market. Not only can consumers lose money in these scams, they may also become victims of identity theft if they give a scammer their personal or financial information.

Attorney General Chris Carr is urging all who are planning to attend one or more of these events in person to remain cautious when purchasing tickets.

“I share the excitement of all fans who will be coming to Atlanta for these exciting events and want to ensure that all ticketholders have a positive experience,” said Attorney General Chris Carr. “If you are buying tickets to attend any of the upcoming events at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, we want to be sure you understand how to find a reputable seller and recognize the signs of a scam. We don’t want a single fan to be duped by con artists and have to miss any of these important match-ups.”

The Attorney General’s Office offers the following tips for consumers:

  • Buy tickets from reputable sites. You can check whether the business is accredited with the Better Business Bureau by going to bbb.org. You may also want to search the internet for complaints and reviews of a business.
  • The so-called ticket scalpers who approach you outside the event gates are often scammers peddling bogus tickets. Don’t risk it.
  • You can also find a ticket broker through the National Association of Ticket Brokers, which requires its members to guarantee that every ticket sold on their websites is legitimate.
  • Inquire with the organization hosting the sporting event about a safe method of reselling and buying verified tickets.
  • Be very wary of buying tickets through Craigslist ads.
  • Avoid wiring money to the seller, as this is often an indication of a scam.
  • If purchasing tickets online, make sure the website begins with the prefix https://. This indicates that transactions are encrypted and protected against being intercepted by third parties. 
  • Be wary of deals that sound too good to be true. Scammers often try to lure consumers into handing over their money by offering tickets or merchandise at below-market rates.
  • Protect your identity by refraining from posting pictures of your tickets online or on social media. Scammers can easily take the barcodes in an online post and use them to create fraudulent tickets and steal personal information.
  • Ticket brokers are required by Georgia law to register with the Georgia Athletic & Entertainment Commission and comply with other regulations, including providing their license number in any internet, broadcast or print advertising. To verify a ticket broker’s license, visit sos.ga.gov, click on “Licensing” and then “Search for a Licensee.”

To file a complaint against a ticket broker, contact the Georgia Athletic and Entertainment Commission at (404) 656-2868 or soscontact@sos.ga.gov