Agriculture_Markets
Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor | Richard A. Ball, Commissioner
 
   
Joe Morrissey 518-457-0752
Dave Bullard 315-487-7711 x 1377


April 28, 2015

New York State Fair Alerts Meghan Trainor Fans to Online Phony Ticket Sales for Free Concert at Chevy Court

Several Websites Falsely Advertising Tickets Costing Hundreds of Dollars

The Great New York State Fair today alerted fans of pop star Meghan Trainor to false advertising of online ticket sales for Trainor’s concert at the Fair’s Chevy Court stage, announced Acting Fair Director Troy Waffner.  The concert, which is being held on September 3, is free with admission to the Fair. Yet in some cases, tickets are being sold online for more than $1,500 dollars.

“We’ve worked hard to put on the best Chevy Court lineup of free entertainment in our history, and someone is trying to take advantage of that by duping fans who might think that a star of Meghan Trainor’s magnitude is playing at our Grandstand. She is not, and I hope no one is fooled by this obvious attempt at fraud,” said Waffner.

A would-be ticket buyer alerted the Fair to the ticket sales scam.  The problem began with the website meghantrainor-tour.com.  A link on the page that listed Trainor’s September 3 performance at the Fair goes directly to the website TicketNetwork.com.

The Ticket Network page shows a map, created by the Fair, of the seating areas at the Grandstand, giving the impression the show is at the Fair’s paid concert venue and not at the free Chevy Court venue.  Next to the map is a long list of the actual sections of Grandstand seating, complete with names and row numbers, and prices for tickets in those sections.  The tool lists no more than 6 tickets left in any section.  Prices range from $100 for seats in the distant areas of the Grandstand to $1,592 for one of four remaining meet-and-greet passes for a non-existent backstage meeting with Trainor.

In all, the site listed 178 “tickets” worth more than $47,000 to see Trainor’s imaginary Grandstand concert.  The site posts a “125% Satisfaction Guarantee” but notes elsewhere on each page that all sales are final and there are no refunds, exchanges, or cancellations.  The page to purchase the tickets notes that prices are set by third party sellers, but nothing on the page discloses the identity of the third party seller.  The site’s Terms of Use says that the identity of the third party seller will only be disclosed in an e-mail sent after the purchase has been completed.

Ticket Network describes itself as a ticket marketplace, one which helps to connect “thousands of live entertainment fans to the vast network of independent sellers that list tickets on the TicketNetwork Online Exchange. These sellers—from fans with extra or unwanted tickets, to professional ticket brokers—offer more than 7.5 million event tickets on our exchange every day.”

Similar lists of tickets with modest differences in pricing were found on sites such as VividSeats.com and MyCityRocks.com.  VividSeats was generating automated ads offering tickets to the phony concert on various websites that create ads based on the websites you have visited after leaving VividSeats’ site.  It is not clear whether any of the sites are aware of the fraudulent tickets or whether the sites are affiliated with each other in any way.

The Great New York State Fair sells concert tickets in only one place – the Fair’s ticket sales site on Etix.com. 

Waffner offered some tips for safe ticket buying to summer concerts:

  • Buy from well-known reputable companies such as Ticketmaster, Etix, and StubHub. 
  • Check the reputation of companies you’re not familiar with at the Better Business Bureau’s website, www.bbb.org, where you can see the Bureau’s rating of a given business and read complaints made about the company.
  • Read the site’s Terms of Use and look for any guarantees the company makes. 
  • Use a credit card or PayPal account to buy tickets online.  It is much easier to resolve problems when you can dispute a purchase.  It’s your protection against a business with a “no refunds” policy.
  • Never send cash through the mail or wire money to an account.
  • Preserve any receipt you receive in the mail or via e-mail.

Consumers wishing to make a complaint about a company can access a free online form at the New York State Division of Consumer Protection at https://www.dos.ny.gov/consumerprotection/form/complaintform.asp.

“We cannot allow fame and fandom to be used as a tool for fraud,” said Aiesha Battle, Director, New York State Division of Consumer Protection. “The New York Department of State’s Division of Consumer Protection advises New Yorkers to remain vigilant and perform due diligence before spending their hard-earned money on tickets to any event. We recommend buying tickets from a trusted and well-known company in order to safeguard against scammers and their deceptive practices.”

Screen captures of the various websites where we found fraudulent tickets for sale are here: Pic 1 | Pic 2 | Pic 3 | Pic 4


2015 Press Releases