Arts industry officials create website to protect consumers from fake concert and event tickets

Jul 15, 2021, 7:32 PM | Updated: 11:44 pm
(Garth Brooks, who is scheduled to perform at Rice-Eccles Stadium July 17.  Photo: Associated Press...
(Garth Brooks, who is scheduled to perform at Rice-Eccles Stadium July 17. Photo: Associated Press, file, July 2014)
(Garth Brooks, who is scheduled to perform at Rice-Eccles Stadium July 17. Photo: Associated Press, file, July 2014)

SALT LAKE CITY – This weekend’s Garth Brooks concert has arts industry insiders warning about scammers trying to sell fake tickets. 

They’re also reminding ticket buyers about new resources available to protect themselves from being tricked.

If you search sites like StubHub and Vividseats, you may find tickets to Garth Brooks’ concert at Rice-Eccles Stadium for around $50. However, some have told KSL that they’ve seen tickets selling for $25 on lesser known websites and online classified ads.

Officials with the Utah Cultural Alliance say that price is likely too good to be true, and in their eyes, it’s likely a scam.

It isn’t just the larger concerts and sporting events that bring out the fraudsters. Egyptian Theater in Park City Marketing Manager Dan Radford said it happens at smaller theaters, too.

“We are at risk in here in Salt Lake because we have such a high arts influence, here,” Radford said.

Speculative buying

One frequent scam in Utah is called “speculative buying,” when scammers use computer programs called bots to buy large numbers of tickets more quickly than the average customer can. Then the tickets are sold at greatly increased prices. 

Sometimes scammers will promise tickets they don’t actually have.  For instance, the Broadway musical Hamilton is returning to the Eccles Theater and Salt Lake County Division of Arts and Culture Director Matthew Castillo says tickets are not available, yet.

“You can go online to fraudulent or deceptive second-market ticket sellers and you can find tickets for Hamilton for much higher than you will be able to purchase them when they do go on sale this fall,” Castillo said.

This kind of “speculative buying” happened to the Deer Valley Music Festival.  Utah Cultural Alliance Executive Director Crystal Young-Otterstrom said The Temptations with the Utah Symphony concert sold out before the bots had a chance to snatch up all the tickets.

“When [the show with] The Temptations sold out, they couldn’t deliver on those tickets, they started listing the show as ‘cancelled,’ which it’s not,” she said.

The Alliance is launching, which has tips that can help people avoid paying a lot of money for tickets to nowhere.

“It also links you back, easily, to the Consumer Protection website to report fraud if you are defrauded.  It’s up to a $2,500 fine per violation,” Young-Otterstrom said.

Some of those tips include…

  • Do not purchase tickets to events before the official on sale/pre-sale date as they are most likely fraudulent
  • Ideally, tickets should be purchased through an authorized ticket seller such as,, or
  • When purchasing in the secondary market, look to sites like StubHub that self police instead of classifieds or social media
  • Purchase tickets primarily using either a credit or debit card
  • If fraud has occurred, consumers can file a complaint with the Division of Consumer Protection by visiting and clicking on “File a Complaint.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Crime, Police + Courts

A traffic stop in Salt Lake City led to the arrest of a 21-year-old man who was in possession of il...
Mark Jones

Salt Lake City traffic stop leads to drug bust, illegal gun recovered

Salt Lake City police say a traffic stop Thursday resulted in a 21-year-old man being arrested for being in possession of illegal drugs and a firearm.
24 hours ago
Video footage of a traffic stop that led to the deadly beating of Tyre Nichols shows "acts that def...
Travis Caldwell, Jay Croft, Eric Bradner and Alisha Ebrahimji, CNN

Memphis releases video showing police stop that led to Tyre Nichols’ death

Editor’s note: This article contains graphic descriptions of violence. (CNN) — The city of Memphis has released police body camera and surveillance video showing the January 7 traffic stop and violent police confrontation that led to the death of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols. During the initial encounter between Nichols and Memphis police, an officer can be seen […]
24 hours ago
A 15-year-old girl was killed in a crosswalk on Friday when she was hit by a school bus in Sandy. T...
Simone Seikaly

Jordan High student killed in Sandy crosswalk by school bus

Sandy police said they do not yet know how or why the student was hit while walking in a crosswalk on Friday.
24 hours ago
A bill on transgender healthcare — banning transgender-related surgeries and puberty blockers for...
Eliza Pace, KSL TV and Aimee Cobabe, KSL NewsRadio

Utah Senate approves changes to transgender care bill, passes on to Gov. Cox

SB16 bans gender-confirming surgeries for minors and also places a moratorium on puberty blockers for minors.
24 hours ago
The Lehi Fire Department reports major structural damage to the interior of a home after a fire eru...
Simone Seikaly

“Major damage to home” after early morning explosion, fire in Lehi

Two people were injured in the blast and fire according to Lehi fire officials, who believe the blast happened in the basement.
24 hours ago
The Utah Department of Public Safety together with the Salt Lake Branch of the NAACP have called th...
Simone Seikaly

Utah safety officials, NAACP, react to death of Tyre Nichols

The Utah agencies denounced the death of Tyre Nichols, a Black man that died in a hospital after an altercation with Memphis police.
24 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
Arts industry officials create website to protect consumers from fake concert and event tickets