If you are one of the lucky fans who got tickets to the super bowl, Congratulations. An exciting experience awaits you. But if you’re still looking for tickets and are tempted by offers on social media platforms, be careful. You could end up with a fake fine and a lot of disappointment.
Counterfeit tickets are a serious problem affecting many major events, especially the Super Bowl. According to members of the intelligence team managed intelligence company NisosScammers actively seek out victims hoping to score last-minute Super Bowl tickets, often taking advantage of their desperation and ticket shortages to take advantage of them.
Nisos has been collecting data on counterfeit Super Bowl tickets for this Sunday’s big game and has uncovered some alarming findings.
What are the new tactics scammers are using to trick you into buying counterfeit Super Bowl tickets?
Scam Tactic #1: Using Image Editing Software
One of the most common ways scammers create fake tickets is by using image editing software to generate documents that mimic legitimate tickets, such as receipts. They can also use stolen or counterfeit barcodes or QR codes to make tickets look more authentic. Nisos found several cases of fake entries advertised on social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram and X.
Nisos found several cases of fake entries advertised on social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram and X. The following was posted on X.
Scam Tactic #2: Leverage Automation and Artificial Intelligence
Another technique scammers use is to take advantage of automation and potentially artificial intelligence to identify and target victims based on the language used in the posts. For example, Nisos received responses from scammers less than a minute after including typical buzzwords and hashtags used by people looking to buy tickets, such as #SuperBowl, #SuperBowlTickets or #LookingForTickets. These responses often contained links to other platforms, such as WhatsApp, Telegram or Cash App, where scammers were trying to close the deal.
Scam Tactic #3: Avoid Detection by Using Cross-Platforms
Scammers also use cross-platform operations to evade detection and bans from social media platforms. They will identify and initiate communications with you on one social media platform before asking you to switch to another. This is likely in an attempt to prevent a social media platform from getting a full view of the fraudulent activity and banning the accounts.
Nisos observed that scammers often used multiple accounts on different platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, X, WhatsApp, Telegram, Cash App, Venmo and Zelle, to carry out their scams.
Scam Tactic #4: Offer Deep Discounts
Finally, scammers may offer deep discounts for upcoming events, like the Super Bowl, to entice you to buy quickly. They may claim that they only want to sell “last minute” tickets to justify large, attractive discounts, such as 50% off or more. The discussion below began after Niso analysts published a public post about Super Bowl tickets and scammers interacted via direct messages.
They may also claim that they have a personal or professional reason for not being able to attend the event, such as a family emergency or a work dispute. Nisos found that scammers often used these excuses to pressure victims into making hasty decisions and transferring money without checking for fines.
How Counterfeit Bill Scammers Use Fake and Compromised Accounts to Evade Detection
One of the challenges of identifying and tracking the scammers behind counterfeit ticket scams is that they often use compromised social media accounts to carry out its operations. These accounts may belong to real people who have been hacked or stolen by scammers, or to fake people created by scammers using stolen or fabricated personal information. Nisos identified multiple cases where the account username, display name, and the names of their associated payment accounts were attributed to different individuals.
Scammers can also use identity fraud to create or access bank accounts and payment applications that they use to receive money from victims. They may use stolen or falsified identification documents, such as driver’s licenses, passports, or social security cards, to open or verify these accounts. Nisos found that scammers often used different names and identities on different platforms, making it difficult to trace the flow of money and the scammers’ real identities.
How can you protect yourself from counterfeit bill scams?
The best way to protect yourself from counterfeit ticket scams is to be vigilant and cautious when purchasing tickets online, especially through social media platforms. Here are seven tips that can help you spot and avoid potential scams:
1. Beware of scammers using social engineering techniques. For example, they may encourage you to transfer money immediately since they supposedly have other potential buyers. They may also use emotional appeals, such as sympathy, guilt, or urgency, to manipulate you into making a decision. Nisos found that scammers often used these tactics to pressure victims into paying before verifying fines.
2. Be wary of people showing receipts or proof of purchase. This is no guarantee that a person is in possession of a ticket and can be easily counterfeited. Nisos found several examples of fake receipts that scammers used to convince victims that they had purchased tickets from legitimate sources, such as Ticketmaster, StubHub or SeatGeek.
3. Be careful when interacting with people who ask you to “name your price” or who sell below the value of the ticket. This may be a sign that they are trying to lure you into a scam with an offer that is too good to be true. Nisos found that scammers often used this strategy to attract victims looking for cheap or affordable tickets.
4. Be careful when interacting with people who claim to be selling tickets on behalf of a friend or family member. This can provide an excuse for scammers to use compromised bank accounts with a different account holder name than the social media account being used. Nisos found that scammers often used this pretext to explain the discrepancy between account names.
5. Review recent account history., as some scammers may claim to sell tickets to several high-profile events such as sports games, music concerts, and conferences at the same time. This may indicate that they are running a large-scale fraudulent operation and are not genuine sellers. Nisos found that scammers often posted multiple ads for different events on the same or different platforms, using the same or similar images and descriptions.
6. Be careful and validate the property even when purchasing items from friends or friends of friends on social media. Nisos identified multiple cases where a family member or friend’s account was compromised and used by a scammer. The victim’s friends vouched that the account user was a legitimate seller, without realizing that the account had been hacked.
7. Our number one tip to avoid being a victim of buying counterfeit tickets is Avoid purchasing tickets through social media platforms. This puts you at high risk of being scammed with counterfeit tickets and losing your money and your chance to enjoy the Super Bowl.
Instead, purchase tickets through official and trusted sources, such as NFL, Ticketmaster, StubHub, or SeatGeek. These platforms have security measures and guarantees that protect you from fraud and ensure that the tickets are authentic and valid.
Kurt’s Key Takeaways
Counterfeit ticket scams are a serious and frequent problem that affects many fans who want to attend the Super Bowl. Scammers use various tactics and techniques to create fake tickets, target and deceive victims, and evade detection and attribution. You can protect yourself from these scams by being vigilant and cautious when purchasing tickets online, especially through social media platforms. The best way to avoid being scammed by counterfeit tickets is to purchase tickets through official and trusted sources, such as the NFL, Ticketmaster, StubHub or SeatGeek. By following these tips, you can ensure that you enjoy the Super Bowl safely without falling victim to criminals.
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