Scam Artists Sell Over $4 Million in Fake Tickets Every Month

Second-hand ticket retailer viagogo has revealed that scam artists that have been selling fake tickets are collectively reeling in just over $4 million a month, or $49 million a year.

Viagogo found that more than 67,000 fake music festival tickets were sold last year. In 2011, that number could reach 100,000. Most of this scamming occurs during the summer, the most popular season for concerts.

Ticket scams have been occurring for years. When a ticket is nothing but a piece of paper with a barcode that is scanned at the gate, counterfeiting is child’s play. Some events provide wristbands to ticketed attendees, and these wristbands can also be easily faked.

Watermarks and other security features make tickets a bit more difficult to recreate, but these low-tech methods of determining a ticket’s authenticity are often lost on the general public. The victim only realizes the scam when he’s denied entry to an event.

Avoid scalpers, period. Unless you know them personally, just buy tickets at the venue’s window. When purchasing tickets online, stick to legitimate websites. An online search will probably turn up plenty of options, but only buy from familiar, trusted brokers.

Scam artists often take advantage of online ticket companies by buying up blocks of tickets with stolen credit cards, either to counterfeit or simply to overcharge the public.

Fortunately, some ticket brokers have deployed device reputation, which allows them to uncover computers or other devices responsible for fraudulent activity or exhibiting suspicious behavior at the point of sale, and deny transactions from these devices. This kind of visibility gives ticketing services businesses a powerful advantage. More than ever, they can easily identify the scam artists where they’re coming from.

Robert Siciliano, personal security and identity theft expert contributor to iovation, discusses yet another data breach on Good Morning America. (Disclosures)