(KARE 11) Whether you go to a lot of sporting events or are thinking of buying tickets as a holiday gift, beware of where you are buying them.
Ticket scams are on the rise with new technology making it easier for people to sell the same ticket to multiple buyers on the secondary ticket market.
James Wesley says his brother’s girlfriend bought them tickets for the Vikings versus Rams game back in August.
It was a birthday gift for his brother and James’ first time at US Bank Stadium. But when they got the gate the tickets didn’t scan through.
James says someone had already scanned identical tickets and was already sitting in their seats.
“I don't understand how someone can re-sell tickets that were already purchased,” he said.
Andrew Baydala with Ticket King says it happens all the time.
“Everyone comes out of the woodwork to try to make some money off a hot ticket,” he said.
Sometimes it happens when a person sells tickets to multiple people online and forwards them the same link to print off the ticket. Other times, the unscrupulous seller has a PDF ticket and re-prints it, selling it again and again to unsuspecting buyers.
That’s why Baydala says it’s important to go through a reputable ticket dealer, even if it means paying a bit more. He says his company and others stand behind their tickets.
"If you don't get in we'll either give you a refund or we'll upgrade you at no additional cost,” Baydala explained.
But a buyer who purchased the counterfeit ticket elsewhere may be out of luck.
The ticket scams can be an issue at any popular concert or sporting event.
Some venues are taking steps to crack down on fraudulent tickets.
At Target Center, the Timberwolves use a system called “Flash Seats."
It’s an all digital system that creates a unique bar code linked to the ticket holder. It can’t be re-sold without the team knowing about it.
“It makes the ability for counterfeit tickets actually impossible,” says Ryan Tanke the Chief Revenue Officer for the Timberwolves.
He says they adopted it to protect consumers and for greater security.
James Wesley and his brother eventually did get into the Vikings game to catch the second half. He says after talking to police he was directed to the ticket office.
They filled out a police report and the Vikings gave them new tickets. The seats weren’t quite as good but he’s glad they got to catch the game.
He’d like to see more protections for ticket buyers.
"I think once a ticket is sold there should be a serial number and you shouldn't be able to use it again,” he said.
The Vikings say with their success, they have seen more ticket scams. They offer these tips for fans who want to buy tickets online:
● Only the Vikings ticket office, Ticketmaster and the NFL TicketExchange can guarantee the ticket you purchase online will be valid to attend the event.
● When buying from a merchant, always look for the BBB OnLine seal.
● When buying from an individual through an online exchange don’t be lured away from the web site by the seller. Even if you met the seller on the exchange web site, the company may not guarantee any lost money if a transaction occurs outside their domain.
● If you buy tickets through an online auction, choose a seller with a long, continuous history of satisfied customers.
● Only pay with a credit card or through PayPal, which offer some protection and potential reimbursement. Never pay with a cashier’s check, gift cards or wire money to a seller.