Event venues work to protect customers from scalpers

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by Jesse Jones / KING 5

Bio | Email | Follow: @getjesse

KING5.com

Posted on March 10, 2014 at 11:28 PM

Updated Tuesday, Mar 11 at 11:23 AM

When Jennifer Connolly ordered tickets for her daughter's girl scout troop to see the Lion King on the big stage at the Paramount, everything was Hakuna Matata.  But that changed when the delivery arrived.

“I just kept on saying, this isn't good, this isn't good.  I just felt really sick,” remembered Connolly.

The 21 tickets were mailed from a company the Paramount works with in New York.  But when Connolly saw the envelope she knew something wasn’t right.

“It was sliced open and taped back up and the only thing that was left was my receipt and some brochures from the Paramount,” explained Connolly.

Connolly reported the theft to the Paramount and the theatre quickly took care of her, canceling the first round of tickets and issuing new ones.  So what about the stolen tickets? Chances are they'll end up on the secondary market and sold to an unsuspecting buyer.

Josh LaBelle runs the Paramount Theatre and sees this kind of thing all the time.  He says to prevent fraud watch for unofficial websites posing as the Paramount and only buy from the theatre or its website (stgpresents.org).

“Those are the only two officially sanctioned places to buy tickets.  We make no deals with secondary tickets.  It's not the kind of company we are,” explained LaBelle.

Ticketmaster has come up with a system to combat this fraud.  It’s called credit card entry.  When you buy your ticket with a credit card, your card acts as your ticket.  So when you go to the venue just show your ID, swipe your credit card and that’s your ticket to get you in.

As for the stolen Lion King tickets, here are seats you should avoid buying.  They’re in section 33, row X, seats 5–12, row Y, seats 6-12 and row Z, seats 7-12.

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