CHICAGO - While the gates will open for Lollapalooza in just under 24 hours, scammers are not taking a break.
The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers Wednesday about fake tickets and fake vaccination cards that are circulating ahead of this weekend's mega fest in Grant Park.
Steve Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau in Chicago and Northern Illinois, says to use trusted sources to purchase your ticket.
"Ticket sellers and scammers always use the excitement and emotion of events like playoffs or an exciting concert to snare unsuspecting victims," Bernas said.
Anyone who tries to show a fake vaccine card to get in to the event could face serious consequences.
"Any type of buying vaccine cards, fake ones or manipulating your friends card is not acceptable and could put you in jail for providing false documentation," Bernas said.
Last week, the FBI’s Chicago office warned Illinois residents about the dangers involved in the illegal sale of fraudulent COVID-19 vaccination cards.
"FBI Chicago reminds the public that the creation, purchase, or sale of fake vaccine cards by individuals is illegal, dangerous, and punishable with significant fines and prison time," FBI spokesperson Jillian Kaehler said in a statement.
The Better Business Bureau recommends to report all potential scams to them or police.
The BBB offered the following tips to consumers, whether they are looking for tickets to Lollapalooza or any other event:
- Know that buying tickets from unknown sources is like buying tickets in a dark alley. Fake tickets, especially for sought-after events, have become common.
- Buy only from trusted vendors. Check out the seller/broker. Look them up on bbb.org to learn what other customers have experienced.
- Purchase from the venue. Whenever possible, use the official ticket sales agent for the venue or visit the box office directly.
- Consider your source. Know the difference between a professional ticket broker (a legitimate and accredited reseller), a ticket scalper (an unregulated and unlicensed ticket seller), and a scammer selling fraudulent tickets.
- Buy online only from vendors you know and trust. Don’t click through from emails or online ads; a common scam trick is to create a web address that is similar to a well-known company.
- Know the refund policy. You should only purchase tickets from a ticket reseller that provides clear details about the terms of the transaction. Sellers should disclose to the purchaser, prior to purchase, the exact location of the seats represented by the tickets. Know what happens when concerts cancel or change dates.
- Use payment methods that come with protection. Always use a credit card so you have some recourse if the tickets are not as promised. Debit cards, wire transfer or cash transactions are risky; if the tickets are fraudulent, you won’t be able to get your money back.
- Be wary of advertisements. When you search the web for online tickets, advertisements for cheap tickets will often appear. Use good judgment; some of these ads are going to be scams, especially if the prices are low.