Legions of Taylor Swift fans failed to secure tickets for her upcoming “Eras Tour” during this week’s messy and groundbreaking internet pre-sale. But things could be worse: Your tears would ricochet – to paraphrase a Swift song – if you got ripped off to pay top dollar for tickets that didn’t exist.

Between glitches during this week’s disastrous pre-sale, Ticketmaster canceling Friday’s general sale for Swift’s tour, some secondary market sellers asking for more than $28,000 per ticket and warnings from authorities about counterfeiting, many Swifties naturally see red. But those determined to attend the singer’s first tour since 2018 shouldn’t let emotions cloud their best judgment given the money at stake.

A single nosebleed ticket to one of Swift’s shows at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, for example, will currently set you back at least $668 on StubHub, and some seats are listed as high as $9,900. Along with astronomical prices in legitimate secondary markets, ticket scams are common when it comes to frenetic events and concerts, according to the nonprofit Better Business Bureau. Dodgy online sellers have been known to profit from digital-only ticket sales, especially when competition for seats is so fierce.

Taylor Swift Tickets: How to Avoid Scams

Make sure you’re protected before you continue your journey to catch T-Swizzle in the flesh. Here are some tips to help you avoid scammers – and what to do if you fall victim.

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Know your rights

Before you click buy, make sure you know your rights as a ticket buyer. The NATB has a handy guide explaining your rights, such as your right to “a full refund based on issuer policy, if the ticket is refused or invalidated, or if the event is cancelled.”

The NATB also has a list of 10 basics for buying tickets to a Taylor Swift concert or any other entertainment or sporting event. Advice such as “don’t buy from an unsecured website” is especially important to remember.

Purchase from the site or legitimate sellers

The guy selling tickets on Craigslist or outside the MetLife stadium is not your friend, according to NATB. Always know who you’re buying your tickets from and buy directly from the venue or its approved ticket provider whenever possible. You can search for ticket sellers and brokers on BBB.org to see customer reviews of companies and sometimes individual small sellers. To make sure the seller is a member of NATB, look it up on VerifiedTicketSource.com.

NATB members offer a 200% purchase guarantee on tickets. Many official ticket agents also offer secondary ticket options, such as StubHub, Seat Geek and Vivid Seats.

Beware of phishing

A telltale sign that a site is trustworthy is the lock symbol in the web address, which indicates a secure shopping system, according to the BBB. So don’t click on links in emails or online advertisements that prey on your Google search history – those cheap “Eras” floor seats that suddenly appear on your web pages are, in fact, too good to be true.

Many fraudulent emails and web advertisements will create addresses similar to a well-known brand. If you receive messages from an unknown sender, it is a sure sign that it is phishing. Ticketmaster and other sites sometimes have guides on how to avoid phishing — cybercriminals’ attempts to impersonate legitimate businesses to steal sensitive consumer information — including lists of known fraudulent senders. Always be sure to report the phishing to the company.

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Read the refund policy

Not reading the fine print can come back to bite you. Trustworthy sellers should always provide clear details of the terms and conditions of your purchase, and they should always disclose your seat locations before purchasing.

If the tickets you purchase are not immediately available to you, the seller must provide reliable and accurate information about when your tickets will ship or when and where you can pick them up. Keep in mind that these guarantees are built into marketplaces like StubHub, so if you buy a ticket that turns out to be counterfeit there, the company will replace it with an equal or better seat for free.

Use secure payment methods

Read: Do not pay with cash, debit card or bank transfer. When you use a credit card, you have a backup if you end up getting scammed. But if you buy fake greenback tickets, you won’t see Taylor Swift and you won’t get any money back.

Although risky, many fans tend to use Twitter to redeem tickets. Buyers who participate would be advised to use PayPal products and services, which may provide a layer of protection for certain online transactions. Often the mere threat of potential consequences – or knowing they’re dealing with an experienced buyer – deters scammers.

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How to report ticket scams

“If you see something, say something” also applies to ticket scams. There are several ways to hold bad actors accountable if you get scammed. The best way to find out if the physical tickets you’ve purchased are legit is to contact customer service at the venue where the concert is taking place. Otherwise, most concert tickets today are transferred through Ticketmaster, AXS, SeatGeek, etc., which prevent counterfeits.

BBB Scam Tracker lets you find and report scams. If you bought fake tickets from a scalper in person, you can file a local police report (again, you’re unlikely to get your money back, so it’s strongly advised against buying tickets from this way).

Complaints about tickets purchased online but never received can be filed with state consumer protection offices. The Federal Trade Commission’s Online Complaint Assistant can also help if this is the case.

Fraudulent tickets purchased with a credit card or other secure method give you the best chance of getting your money back and putting fraudsters on business radars. File a complaint with your credit card company and you may be able to have the transaction reversed or reversed.

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