Following the relaxing of restrictions that led to unprecedented disruptions of events due to Covid-19, scammers are back and more focused than ever before.
Swarming even small events, scammers act like they have tickets to your event they need to resell only to take your potential attendees money and disappear.
How do they get away with this and what can an event organiser do to protect their fans?
This article will use real examples to demonstrate how ticket scammers work and how to stop them with some help from Tixel.
If you are running a ticketed event with a Facebook event page, its likely scammers are already commenting on your posts (and making posts to the event wall). So how do you know which users are real fans? Here we will take a look at a couple of real scammers from a small club event in Australia to help you pick up on scammers in your events.
Scammers usually target events outside the country they live in (impossible for them to be persecuted that way) so generally the first way to spot a scammer is strange grammar or misspellings. As seen here “We won’t be able to attend this event due to my schedules” is a clue this is a scammer. Notice he is also vague about what event he is talking about, this is due to the fact that scammers will just copy and paste the same message across events.
Incomplete Facebook profiles
As mentioned earlier, this is a numbers game so scammers have huge numbers of profiles, usually with very little information! Unlike a real Facebook profile that will at least have a few points of information filled out.
Will only discuss tickets in direct messages
Scammers don’t want to discuss anything to do with the transaction publicly to avoid being called out as a scammer.
How Scammers Get Away With It
If scammers are so prevalent why are they not stopped?
Despite Facebook’s best efforts to prevent fraudulent accounts being created there is a thriving black market for hacked or specifically created for scamming Facebook accounts (just try googling “buy facebook account”!). Essentially fraudulent accounts are created faster than Facebook can keep up with them.
Hundreds of fraudulent accounts can be purchased for a few dollars so even if a certain account gets banned, a new account can quickly and cheaply be purchased.
Scammers are also great at keeping up with Facebook’s attempts to stop them, responding to changes like accounts requiring government identification by submitting stolen or fraudulent documents.
Facebook also uses technology like facial recognition to spot accounts that use stolen photos. However scammers are now using tools that generate human faces like ThisPersonDoesNotExist to get around even facial recognition!
It’s also a numbers game for scammers, they will post on hundreds of events around the world and only need to fool a few people to make a profit.
In an ever escalating arms race between Facebook and scammers, how can you protect your fans?
While scammers are a challenge, there’s a few simple things you can do to protect your attendees.
First, if you see scammers on your page let your fans know! If your attendees are aware scammers are operating they will know to be wary and use a little common sense!
Secondly, Tixel provides a safe and scam free resale experience for any attendees who need to sell their ticket. Tixel:
Uses unique tech to make sure any ticket sold is 100% legit.
Uses modern anti fraud tools to ensure any buyer and seller is who they say they are, no fake profiles!
Provides a central page for all ticket resale you can direct all attendees to.
Provides sellers with unique links to post to your event.
Our friends at Habitat have used Tixel on multiple events following an influx of scammers, successfully letting real fans trade real tickets, scam free!
Winston Surfshirt added their Tixel page to their Facebook Event description following sell out to easily inform attendees about safe resale options and filter out any scammers from event comments rather than turn them off completely.