Pittsburgh concertgoers warned of ticket scams for summer events | TribLIVE.com

Pittsburgh concertgoers warned of ticket scams for summer events

Renatta Signorini
Fans of country music legend Garth Brooks arrive on the North Shore for tailgate festivities on Saturday, May 18, 2019.

The Better Business Bureau is warning anyone in search of tickets to summer entertainment options around Pittsburgh to be wary of potential scams.

The message came when a local woman lost $500 after purchasing what ended up being fraudulent tickets from a Craigslist seller for Wednesday’s Ariana Grande show at PPG Paints Arena, according to an announcement. The seller told the buyer that they could transfer the tickets between Ticketmaster accounts and then pay through digital payment website Zelle.

After the tickets were transferred and appeared to be legitimate, the payment was made. But afterwards, the buyer learned the tickets were purchased fraudulently, the bureau said. The report came from the bureau’s Scam Tracker, through which consumers can report such situations.

The bureau warned that similar scams may pop up throughout the summer for tickets to various events, from food festivals to concerts.

“Unfortunately, this is an all too common situation when it comes to hot tickets for costly events and scammers will price tickets just below the actual selling price to tempt buyers without raising suspicion,” said Warren King, president of the Better Business Bureau of Western PA, in the announcement.

In the scam involving Ariana Grande tickets, tickets were listed at $175. Tickets on Ticketmaster Wednesday afternoon ranged from $157 to $600.

A bureau risk report showed that concert and event ticket scams resulted in a median loss of $102. The bureau advised consumers to use payment methods that come with purchase protections and offered tips for buying tickets online.

Those tips include dealing directly with the venue, researching the seller and buying from trusted sources.

A Mt. Pleasant man who wanted to go to the KISS Farewell Tour at PPG Paints Arena in April lost $375 to a similar online ticket scam, according to state police. The victim bought three tickets for $125 each through Craigslist and then paid through Zelle.

The bureau issued a warning in January 2018 ahead of a Steelers playoff run regarding online purchases of merchandise and tickets.

Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Renatta at 724-837-5374, [email protected] or via Twitter .

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.