Anchorage couple says they fell victim to a concert ticket scam
Holly and John Turnipseed said they looked forward to a night out at Luke Bryan's concert in Anchorage, but when they got to the Sullivan Arena Tuesday, they said they were turned away.
"They scanned it three times and it got X'd out," John said.
He said the couple paid $300 for two tickets, each with a face value of $60, from his sister, who had originally bought them from someone else. Now, he suspects that person either made counterfeits or had bought them off of a non-legitimate third-party site.
"We were kind of at a loss," John said. "We didn't want to pay a couple hundred more for tickets because the cheapest tickets were $70."
He also said he saw several other people who were in line and turned away. Some tried to scramble to get a last minute deal online, through another third-party sign.
"A gentleman showed me that website and he said 'Look, it's five bucks,'" Turnipseed said. "It's too good to be true."
Turnipseed said they didn't buy any additional tickets from the third-party site, but hopes their story can help others avoid any future scams.
The Turnipseeds aren't the only ones saying they were scammed. Leslie White from Houston said she and her husband bought two tickets for $180 from a man off of Facebook. White said they had purchased them so their 11-year-old daughter could see one of her favorite country stars in concert.
White said in a phone interview, her tickets from the Facebook transaction were also deemed invalid when she arrived at the arena. She said the other two tickets she bought online worked.
Michelle Tabler with the Better Business Bureau said the safest way to buy concert tickets is through a venue's box office and she warns against using third-party sites that may seem like they have good discounts.
"If it's too good to be true, it sounds too good to be true, it probably is," Tabler said.
The Better Business Bureau has a Scam Tracker website where you can report and view other scams that have happened across the country. Tabler also said to try to avoid buying tickets through Craigslist, Facebook or someone you don't know.
"If you're going to buy these from someone before you pay money, take them by the venue and have them look at it," she said. "Make sure it's legitimate."
Joe Wooden, the general manager of the Sullivan Arena, said in a phone interview, with big names, unfortunately, scams can happen. He said the only ways to ensure a ticket purchase is legitimate for their arena's events is if it is bought through Ticketmaster, the venue's box office or their charge-by-phone line.
The venue's website also states: "The resale or attempted resale of tickets on Sullivan Arena property is prohibited by law. Violators will be removed from the premises and subject to arrest and prosecution as appropriate."