How to Tell if Tickets Are Legit

Buying tickets to music, sporting and other events is often expensive and can take a chunk out of your wallet. You obviously don't want to experience that gut-wrenching feeling that follows after being told your ticket is fake. Fake tickets may at first appear the same as authentic tickets, but if you look closely, counterfeit tickets normally have at least one design flaw that an authentic ticket doesn't have.

Examine the ticket for any typos. A quick look for any misspellings, grammar mistakes and URL mistakes will tell you right away if you're dealing with a fake ticket. Look closely at the URL on the front of the ticket, which is the URL where you can purchase the tickets. If there are any spaces, forward or backward dashes or impossible URL characters, such as a dollar sign or pound sign, then the ticket is fake.

Look at the font of the ticket. Most ticket companies use Arial font. If the ticket uses a different type of font, such as Times New Roman, the ticket is most likely a fake.

Inspect the ticket for a bland and dull look. Most authentic tickets are printed with a glossy shine to them. Amateur ticket cons often have a difficult time recreating the same look that's found on legitimate tickets. If the ticket is surprisingly dull in color or the color just seems off, then it's better to look for another ticket.

Read the seat number and section. If you're familiar with the arena or venue building and know the general seating makeup, then a quick glance at your seat number and section can tell you a lot about the ticket. If the number or section doesn't exist, then the ticket is fake. For example, if the ticket reads "Section J, Row D, Seat 5," and section J doesn't exist, then the ticket obviously is counterfeit.

Look for a bar code. Some arenas and buildings do not use bar-code scanners to scan tickets, but many do. If you're familiar with your arena or venue building and know that tickets are printed with bar codes, then always check to ensure the ticket has a bar code. If the ticket does include a bar code, don't automatically assume it's legitimate; professional ticket counterfeiters can and do print fake bar codes on tickets.

Judge the seller's reaction. If the person selling you the ticket becomes fidgety or doesn't let you examine the ticket before buying it, then the person is probably holding onto a fake ticket. A person selling a legitimate ticket has no reason to hide the ticket from you.


  • Buy from established ticket companies whenever you can. Established ticket companies ensure that the tickets they sell are completely authentic and will offer you a refund if you buy a counterfeit ticket.


  • Never buy tickets online unless you're buying from an established ticket company or a company that offers refunds for any counterfeit tickets. Purchasing a ticket online puts you at a disadvantage, because you can't examine the ticket prior to buying it.