File photo.

The debacle when Taylor Swift tickets for her Tampa concerts went on sale is still causing headaches. Crooks took notice and this particular scam has even targeted some Q105 Saturday Night Dance Party listeners.

Most of us are suspicious when we get an unsolicited email or a telemarketer’s phone call. But on social media, when you’re among fellow friends, neighbors and fans, it’s easy to let your guard down. When a show sells out, scam artists will target you. And unfortunately this scam works. Here’s how they do it.

I saw this scam happen firsthand when our Q105 roller skating party at United Skates in Tampa sold out. We’re shooting the music video for Debbie Deb’s big 80s hit “Lookout Weekend.” I mentioned since the event is now sold out, the only way to win tickets would be to listen to win them on the Saturday Night Dance Party. What did I do wrong? I put the words “sold out” in the Facebook text.

Scammers search for posts to sites like Facebook for the words “sold out.” Posing as fans, they’ll join your neighborhood’s community message board or a fan page for that artist who has a sold out show. They’ll tell a sob story of how heartbroken they are that the tickets they bought can’t be used. “We want a true fan to be able to enjoy the show,” they’ll say. Or they might say they have a family commitment or have fallen on hard times financially and can no longer afford to go. They try to tug on your heartstrings. Unfortunately it works. Don’t fall for it.

Within 30 minutes of posting that message about our roller skating party being sold out, we had no less than a dozen comments from people offering up their tickets. The wording was almost identical in every comment. None of the comments came from users who were regular members of our Saturday Night Dance Party group. Fortunately, I was able to change the settings on Facebook so that only longtime members can comment. But other Facebook groups may be unaware of that option.

Unless you personally know the seller in real life, avoid those on social media posting comments either selling or even GIVING AWAY tickets. Yep, they try that tactic too. They’ll send you fake tickets and after ask you to give them some of the money back to thank them for their generosity. You’ll realize it’s a scam when you get to the ticket scanner at the arena.

ABC Action News has a story out today of a Taylor Swift fan who is out $660. Unfortunately services like PayPal, Venmo and Zelle offer little to no protection in scenarios like this. So beware.

How to avoid the scam.
There’s no sold out show where tickets are completely unavailable. Obviously with sold out shows, you’re going to have to pay extra. Stick with legitimate ticket reseller sites. You’ll pay a premium, but when you pay with your credit card, you’re protected. And while prices are high on sites like Stub Hub, the few times I’ve had an issue with a ticket, they’ve gone above and beyond to make it right. You want to have confidence your tickets will actually get in to the show.

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Hey it's Geno. Thanks for reading. Got something to add to this story? Connect with me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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