Beware of buying fake sports or concert tickets -

Summer brings games, concerts and...ticket scams

The internet is a breeding ground for scammers selling bogus tickets for sporting and entertainment events.

There are some things you can do to prevent wasting your money on a fake ticket.

If you walk to most any sports or entertainment venue prior to a game or show, you'll usually run into someone selling tickets on the street.

Fans splurging on a ticket, often end up with a fake.

Sporting and entertainment venues started using bar codes on tickets a decade ago in an attempt to nab counterfeit tickets.

Each ticket has a unique code, and once that code is scanned at the gate, anyone else trying to use a ticket with that code is flagged. It will also kick out tickets with made-up codes.

You can purchase tickets online at reputable websites like StubHub and RazorGator. However, tickets sold on eBay and Craigslist aren't guaranteed, and neither are the tickets sold by those who scalp on the street.

A scammer can offer a ticket with a barcode that looks real, or a ticket that's been copied over and over.

"That's one of the troubling things right now about just printing out an on-line ticket is that you can print out 20 of them," warns Tom Bartholomy, President & CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Southern Piedmont. "Only one is going to let you in the door and you can sell the other 19 a few blocks away and make quite a bit of money off it."

The secondary ticket market, which includes tickets sold online and on the street, is now a $10 billion a year industry. It has exploded 10-fold just in the last few years according to the Better Business Bureau.

Fans have grown leery and some won't buy like they used to.

"I've seen them on the sidewalk for as long as I've been coming, but I never wanted to trust them," says one sports fan. "I have had a bad experience with it."

"It's very sketchy," says another fan who spoke to America Now. "I don't trust nobody. Why would you buy them off the street?"

Experts believe the sporting and entertainment industry will eventually go to paperless tickets like the airlines have with a barcode downloaded to your smart phone which you can have scanned at the gate.

"I would say within two to three years you're going to see most venues making that available," Bartholomy says.

If you buy tickets through eBay, choose a seller with a long history of satisfied customers.

Scammers can hijack old accounts, so make sure the seller has recently sold other tickets.

Remember, if you are buying tickets through Craigslist, never pay the seller by wire transfer.

You will have no way to get your money back if the tickets do not arrive or are counterfeit.

Instead, buy from a local seller and pay with cash.

Copyright 2012 America Now. All rights reserved.

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