“It’s frustrating because we can’t do anything about it.” These are the cautionary words from John Karastamatis, director of sales and marketing for Mirvish Productions after the company has noticed a spike in fake tickets to the smash musical, “Come from Away.”
Karastamatis says while reselling tickets is not new, the internet makes it possible for scammers to manipulate the tickets so they can keep using fraudulent tickets over and over again, duping hundreds into thinking they’re seeing a show, many losing thousands of dollars.
“They’re gutted,” he adds. “When you talk to them, they realize where they bought them from, they know they’re taking a chance I guess. Some of them pay $1,500-dollars US for a pair of tickets, and the retail value is $39 (Canadian) each so the markup is ridiculous.”
Karastamatis says they turn away around five couples a night that they simply can’t accommodate, but he adds if there is standing room or spare seats, they will honour the tickets knowing a fraud took place.
Toronto police say to always be aware of online sales that seem too good to be true.
They also shared these tips for buying online tickets to avoid being the victim of a scam:
- Only purchase tickets from a box office or a reputable ticket site
- Do your research
- Google a website or seller
- Make sure you’re using a secure site
- Avoid e-transfers or money transfers
- Use Paypal or a credit card to increase your protection