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Best Practices for Ticketing Fraud

Product Spotlight: Fighting Ticket Fraud 101

With more and more customers opting to purchase tickets online instead of at the box office, fraud has become a bigger hot button topic in the entertainment industry. Online sales in general have been more at risk since the Chip Shift Liability that went into place early last year.

Digital ticketing makes it harder to differentiate between legitimate purchases and fraud when you can’t put a name to a face. This may be a contributing factor to why fraud in digital ticketing is twice as high as traditional box office ticketing. It is essential that you are aware of any fraud that is happening and the measures you can take to reduce the risk.

What you should be aware of

The difference between the types of fraud

  • Chargeback is a demand by a credit-card provider for a retailer or service to make good the loss on a fraudulent or disputed transaction.
  • Friendly fraud is a chargeback that is done by friend,  family member, or someone you know.
  • Brokers are usually ticket resellers who will buy tickets in bulk then sell on secondary sites for higher value. Not all brokers are bad, but there are many who use phishing software to buy tickets using stolen credit card info.  

How much credit card fraud is affecting your ticket sales.

Reviewing your ticket sales reports regularly will help you detect patterns of fraud and determine the scope of fraud affecting your events and ticket buyers. For instance, the Etix Multiple Customer Order Report allows you to search all your performances and see which customers have had multiple orders across different events.

The Stats

The more expensive the ticket, the higher the fraud risk.

High dollar tickets are more attractive to fraudsters. Tickets over $50 are three times more likely to be vulnerable to fraud, while tickets that are over $200 are 20 times more likely to be vulnerable to fraud.  Though, this is a general consistency the ticketing industry has found, but may differ based on the type of event. The Etix Anti-Fraud team has noticed a trend among some of our fair partners, where lower priced tickets have been the latest major target for fraud.

Ticket fraud is more likely to happen 1-3 days before the day of the event.

Tickets become hot real estate a few days before an event and are more likely to be in high demand. Tickets that are purchased months before your event are less likely to be fraud since demand has yet to grow.  

Ticket fraud is more likely to happen in smaller orders.

Fraudsters want to stay under the radar, so orders with 2-3 tickets that look conspicuous are more likely to be fraudulent than larger ticket orders.

Reduce the Risk

Etix offers several features that help reduce your fraud risk including bot blockers, captcha, and internal tools that help detect fraudulent orders before and during your event.   Here are four Etix guaranteed anti-fraud tips and tools to help you reduce the risk of ticket fraud:

1. Restricting Delivery Methods for High Dollar Tickets

Restricting VIP packages and front row tickets to will call only can help ensure legitimate patrons are picking up tickets.

2. Setting location parameters for your ticket purchasers

While this might limit “out-of-area” ticket purchasers, a zip-code based parameter can help increase the chances of legitimate customers purchasing tickets from your venue. Zip code-based restrictions can also work for ticket delivery by selecting will-call only for purchasers outside of your location parameter.

3. Delay the Digital Ticket Delivery

One way to know if you have been a victim of fraud is when tickets are immediately available on a secondary ticketing site after your event goes on sale. The delayed print-at-home feature allows to you to wait to send digital tickets and review your guest list beforehand.

4. Use Preemptive Fraud Detection Software

Many times fraud isn’t noticed until after the event.  The Etix Anti-Fraud team employs Sift Science to detect fraud and false purchases in real-time.  Fraudulent orders are detected in milliseconds without disrupting the transaction.  This tool can save you time and ticket revenue without sacrificing trusted customer service.

While not all types can be always be avoidable, the Etix Anti-Fraud team works hard to make sure your ticket fraud is kept to a minimum and provide you with tips and tools to combat future risk.  


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