How to Avoid Scammers – NBC New York

It’s the concert tour everyone has been talking about, sparking a fan frenzy in every city it has visited so far: From Tampa to Philly to Boston.

Now Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour is coming to MetLife Stadium over Memorial Day Weekend. Thousands are getting hyped for the shows that could feature 44 songs and 16 outfit changes. Crowds of Swifties are expected to take over not only the stadium, but descend upon much of New York City and surrounding parts of New Jersey as well.

So what if you’re still in need of a ticket? Well, be prepared to pay up — and be wary of potential scammers, otherwise it could be the start of a “Cruel Summer” for desperate fans.

Demand from fans caused Ticketmaster’s pre-sale website to crash in 2022, triggering lawsuits against the concert ticketing giant and even a Senate hearing. All the hype has driven up prices for re-sale tickets on verified websites, hitting prices many wouldn’t believe in their “Wildest Dreams.”

“Prices on Stubhub and Seatgeek were starting at the low $2,000’s for nosebleeds,” said Leah, a Swiftie from Manhattan who has been scouring the internet everyday to see if there are any tickets for sale. “Two-thousands dollars is not doable for me and not doable for most people, especially living in NYC. It blows my mind.”

It’s fertile ground for online scammers, using different methods like Photoshopped tickets to try and fool those hopeful of finding a golden last-minute ticket to the show. Leah said she’s seen some that were obvious fakes.

“Like, East Rutherford was spelled wrong,” she told NBC New York.

Taylor Swift is loving life! During her latest stop on her Eras Tour, the songstress told the crowd in Boston that she’s never been happier. “I’ve just never been this happy in my life in all aspects of my life ever … And I just want to thank you for being a part of that,” she told the crowd. “It’s not just a tour, I just sort of feel like my life finally feels like it makes sense.”

Nationwide, the Better Business Bureau received 200 complaints about Taylor Swift ticket scams. A common tactic: scammers hacking into a real person’s Facebook account.

“On the surface they appear to be a real person. It could be like, Mary from Ohio, and you’re like ‘OK, she looks nice and normal,'” said Leah.

But the scammers are reaching out to the victim’s network of friends to sell fake tickets.

“People believe it, they are in such a rush to get these tickets that they send money thru these peer-to-peer platforms and the next thing you know, they’re not hearing anything, its crickets after that,” said Claire Rosenzweig, President and CEO of BBB Metro New York. “Don’t get caught up in the desire to have the ticket.”

Taylor Swift and Matty Healy are spending time together in New York City.

Some parents have been duped by online scammers promising to sell tickets that are nothing but a “Blank Space.”

“You know, mom and dad want to be the hero. We want to come through for them,” said Brian Fitzpatrick, of Staten Island, whose daughters are Taylor Swift fans. “It’s the wild, wild West right now.”

Police departments in New Jersey have been warning people about Taylor Swift ticket scams. One Swiftie in Hackettstown was scammed out of close to $1,500. The Fanwood Police Department alerting Swift fansw to stay clear of a particular reported scammer on Facebook, who reportedly swindled victims back in March. 

Here’s how to avoid getting tricked scammers:

  • Go offline, call your friend to find out if the ticket is real
  • Look out for any grammatical or spelling mistakes on tickets
  • Do not send money using peer-to-peer apps like Zelle or Venmo, which have less protections for scam victims

The 1975’s Matty Healy was at Taylor Swift’s recent Eras Tour stop. The singer was spotted on stage performing during Taylor’s opening in Nashville and then again when the pop star was on stage.

Leah told NBC New York she prefers using Pay Pal Goods and Services, which includes a fee to protect buyers and sellers.

“If you ask them if they take Pay Pal Goods and Services and they tell you they don’t have a Pay Pal account or they don’t use that, they want to use Zelle or Venmo, that’s an immediate red flag,” she said.

Buying through verified re-sale websites – like SeatGeek and StubHub — is likely the safest bet. But be prepared to pay a month’s rent for a seat in the nosebleeds.

“The worst seats in the House are going at almost $2,000 each,” Fitzpatrick said of the upcoming shows at MetLife Stadium.

While Leah plans to keep scouring for a ticket to get her “Out of the Woods,” Fitzpatrick and his three daughters are picking the less “Bejeweled” option: tailgating in the stadium parking lot.

“I’m a barbecue guy. Maybe I’ll bring a smoker and we’ll make a day of it,” he said.

The advice we “Know All Too Well”: If the price is too good to be true, it probably is.

“I’m really just looking to get in the venue,” said Leah.

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