As the winter months fade and spring begins to creep up, many millennials and Gen Zers set their sights on festival season. Whether they plan on attending Coachella, Stagecoach, Outside Lands, Lollapalooza, or Governor’s Ball, festivalgoers across the world anxiously begin to look for cheap or discounted tickets in the hope of enjoying these events as affordably as possible. This eagerness, however, provides scammers with an opportunity to scam attendees out of hundreds of dollars, as well as the experiences themselves. In fact, according to Threatpost, ticket scammers have recently set their sights on wishful Burning Man attendees.
How This Burning Man Scam Works
The dystopian, futuristic festival that is Burning Man takes place in late August through early September, attracting tens of thousands of people from around the world and all walks of life. While truly an immersive experience, the festival can be quite expensive. So, it’s no wonder that burners – the nickname given to festival attendees – would be eager to find the cheapest price for their tickets. With this scam in particular, fake Burning Man concert organizers are offering passes in what researchers say is a very convincing and sophisticated effort. These tricksters have set up a fake website that closely mimics the official Burning Man site to fool visitors into thinking it’s the real deal.
How to Stay Secure
Seasoned festivalgoers know that ticket scammers are out there. But as the traps become more sophisticated, it’s vital that they know how to spot “too good to be true” deals. To avoid being burned by tricksters, follow these tips:
- Only buy tickets from reputable vendors. While purchasing a cheap ticket from a third-party vendor is tempting, buying a ticket from the actual festival site rather than one that offers a good deal is the way to go. If not, you risk not only losing money but also the festival experience.
- Carefully inspect any site before entering payment details. Burning Man’s official website features event history, an invitation to collaborate, press releases, archives from past festivals, and more – so make sure to scan for a variety of pages to confirm that the site is the real deal. Adding to that, be sure to also inspect URLs for suspicious characters.
- Use payment that’s protected. If for some reason you do fall victim to a scam, most credit card companies help you get your money back in event of fraud. Additionally, PayPal offers buyer protection when paying for “Goods or Services” that allows you to chargeback, just as long as you don’t pay as “friends and family,” which means no buyer protection.
- Monitor your online accounts. You’re never too young to start monitoring your credit! Be sure to regularly inspect your account for suspicious activity. If you do suspect your data or account has been compromised, place a fraud alert on your credit.