Phoenix is pretty hot when it comes to professional sporting events. Not only do we have four major sports teams, but there are also big ticket artists and other events that are always going on. But if you want to attend one of these venues and you're buying tickets from a third party, be careful.
In a previous 3 On Your Side reports, we showed you how Shannon Wicker and her family were duped when they thought they bought authentic Taylor Swift tickets.
"The guy looks down and it's making a beeping sound and he scans it again and 'oh, I'm sorry. These tickets are invalid you have to go to customer service window.'"
But ticket scams seem to be getting worse. Why? For the answer, we went to Ticket Lobster, a licensed ticket agency run by Will Furniss.
"Because of the bar codes."
Yep, barcodes. Think of them like "fingerprints," there is only one unique bar code per ticket per seat, for every venue.
But here's the problem, scammers are duplicating that barcode and reselling them, and honest consumers are making it easy.
3 On Your Side surfed the internet looking for tickets that were for sale and look what we saw people doing. They were photographing their authentic ticket -- the Sun Devils, the Coyotes and the Cardinals -- with the entire barcode just ready to be duplicated by a scammer.
As a security measure, 3 On Your Side smudged out the bar codes we found, but you get the idea.
Furniss added, "If you're showing the bar code and the barcode is legible all the way through, then those tickets can be duplicated and that becomes a problem."
In fact, the Arizona Cardinals sent out emails alerting folks to not even post selfies on social media showing themselves holding upcoming football tickets. "Don't post pics of your tickets online with the barcode showing before the game happens," the team warned.
Furniss used an expired ticket to show us how it works.
"You would copy this barcode and put it on there and boom your in the game."
Ticketmaster and Craigslist are among those that have posted warnings about fake or counterfeit tickets.
Furniss believes the Cardinals barcode alert is a good idea.
"Is this the world we're living in now? Yes it's going to become more so in the future."
For additional information regarding barcode fraud, we've posted the following links:
- Cover the Code: The Do’s & Don’ts of Sharing Ticket Pics Online
- Craigslist Ticket Scams