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Chicago area dad has a warning about fake concert ticket scams

Experts advise avoiding ticket scams with concert, festival season coming
Experts advise avoiding ticket scams with concert, festival season coming 02:34

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The Better Business Bureau has issued a warning about ticket scams – something a Chicago area local family wishes they had heard about sooner.

Scott Eberhart remains in a state of frustration and shock – after he got burned by a resale ticket issue for a concert to which he had bought tickets for his teenage daughter this past weekend. She ended up going, but not without an ordeal first.

"Beyond livid," Eberhart said.

Eberhart drove his teenage daughter and a friend to the Auditorium Theatre downtown for her first concert.

"When she got to the scanner, they said they were invalid; they were fake tickets," said Eberhart.

Yet Eberhart paid $295.95 for the tickets through StubHub back in November. They were a Christmas gift for his daughter to see her favorite band, Mitski.

"There was an usher walking up and down explaining to everybody that StubHub had invalidated a bunch of tickets that were improperly released," Eberhart said.

Eberhart's daughter was upset – and he himself was embarrassed.

"I was prepared to bribe the security. I was prepared to cause a distraction and break the glass," he said. "She was getting in."

Luckily, the concert was not sold out. Eberhart found himself purchasing the tickets from the box office.

"So I was forced to buy more tickets to a concert that had already bought tickets to," he said.

Eberhart purchased the first time around from StubHub, and received his tickets electronically.

"I'm not thrilled with the idea of e-tickets, to be honest, if they're that easy to scam," he said.

But when he tried to get the money for those first tickets that didn't work back, a message he received said the event had already passed – so refunding was not an option.

"They denied me a couple of times today, but when I told them that CBS was interested in reporting on it, they managed to get me a refund by the end of the day today," he said.

The Better Business Bureau warns that anyone buying an event ticket – whether for a comedy show, a concert, a circus, or a Cubs baseball game – should watch out for fake ticket scams.

"So we've seen scammers increasing each and every year," said Better Business Bureau of Chicago & Northern Illinois President Steve Bernas.

This year, the BBB says such scam activity rising – and impacting credible sites.

"There's a lot of sites that make it look like they're a legitimate ticket broker when they're not," said Bernas. "They're just copying and pasting the graphics."

It is also recommended to use a credit card versus a debit card for buying tickets. That way, if the tickets are fake, the credit card company can be asked to fight the charges.

Now with his refund, Eberhart is glad to see the BBB tracking the growing trend.

"It's nice to know, you know, that somebody's paying attention to this, and hopefully, the problem will get fixed," he said.

In a statement Wednesday, StubHub said it still investigating – and found 18 customers were affected by the ticket cancellations that Eberhart experienced.

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