Buyer Beware: Ticket Scamming on the Rise

Attending a football game at Ohio Stadium should be one of the greatest experiences a student can have. Unfortunately, in attempts to either save money or access sold-out tickets, students often take desperate measures that can lead them susceptible to fraud. 

Currently, there are countless ticket exchange groups on social media platforms, such as WeChat, GroupMe and Facebook that promote the purchase, sale or exchange of tickets. On the surface, these groups look legitimate, many utilizing logos that mirror official university branding.

There are only a handful of authorized ticket resale agents for Ohio State Football tickets. While the cost of the tickets may seem more costly than what is posted in the social media groups, you can ensure you will have a ticket for gameday. There are certainly some individuals who have purchased tickets in one of these social media groups without issue; however, numerous students have reported being defrauded out of money and/or their identifiable information after communicating with “sellers” in these groups. 

These schemes are carried out by individuals who lurk in these groups, liking and commenting on every ticket sale post they see. When an unwitting target asks if a ticket is being sold, these individuals will almost always ask the victim to reach out to them outside of the group or in direct messages. Once the scammer engages their target, they request the victim send a photo of their BuckID as proof they are a student and in return, will send a photo of “their” ID as well. In most cases, the photo the scammer is sending back is one they have received from a previous victim. This leaves the victim believing they have recourse if the scammer does not deliver. In many cases, evidence suggests these scammers are not members of The Ohio State community. Most of the profiles used by the scammers are clones of other student profiles or generic profiles entirely. 

The scammer will then request payment or partial payment be sent before they will transfer tickets. Most often, once the victim has paid this initial cost, the scammer tells them they must send the rest of the money or receive nothing. Once the victim sends the rest of the funds, the scammer usually cuts off all communication. The scammers will ask the victim to send funds through Venmo, Cash App and other online funds transfer apps. Students have reported being asked to send payments in lesser amounts, such as $30 per transaction. Often, the scammer will provide a profile name that is completely different from the original profile used to interact with the victim. The scammer will attempt to ease concerns by stating the Venmo or Cash App profile belongs to a roommate or significant other, creating another level of protection for the scammer’s anonymity. This is also important because many of these apps do not offer fraud protection and victims have reported that representatives will often encourage the victim to seek action through local law enforcement. It is incredibly difficult to get information from these companies regarding the transaction as it is their main priority to protect the identification of the users of their apps.  

What should be the biggest red flag is the cost of the tickets. At the time of posting, tickets for the Nov. 26 game between Ohio State and Michigan at Ohio Stadium in Columbus will cost between $550-$4,500 each. If someone is offering tickets at an incredibly discounted rate, it is likely a scam.  

Students who have been scammed and have questions may contact Student Legal Services, the lawyers for Ohio State students. SLS staff have experience assisting students with ticket concerns, specifically Ohio State Football tickets.

To file a complaint with Student Conduct regarding ticket scamming or other violations of the Code of Student Conduct, please visit here.