Georgia Football Ticket Scams Seen In Online Chats | City News


On September 1, the University of Georgia Police Department was contacted by a student who was scammed while trying to buy tickets to the UGA-Oregon football game, according to a UGAPD report.

The student – who met the scammer in the GroupMe “UGA Ticket Swap” chat – sent them $300 via Venmo for three tickets, but they never received them or any other information, according to the report.

Ticket scams started popping up frequently in the GroupMe ticket exchange chat and other online groups for things related to Athens and UGA.

“Cons are rampant,” junior business management major Grant Hendrix wrote in an email to The Red & Black. He’s been swapping tickets through various GroupMe chats since his freshman year.

“GroupMe has a feature where you can see suggested chats and join them without any hurdles,” Hendrix wrote. “I think that’s how they get into chats at such a high rate. They appear in all threads regarding Athens and selling something. »

Spot the scams

Scammers can use a variety of different tactics, including offering cheap tickets and using other students’ ID cards for verification purposes.

“You can’t really tell which ones are scammers at first,” Hendrix wrote. “Everyone will send cats like ‘Sell Kent State, DM me with offers. It’s only when you message them that it becomes apparent.

Mark Hardin, who has a private Facebook ticket exchange group for individuals to meet buyers and sellers of UGA football tickets, receives messages from members of the group reporting scammers.

“There were people who went to the game and bought tickets from the scalper outside the stadium who had paper tickets in hand, and they were illegitimate tickets, they weren’t valid,” he said. Hardin said. “It’s more prevalent than today simply because there are more people who want to attend these games now than ever before.”

Rod Guajardo, senior director of integrated media communications at UGA, advises students to seek out sellers who offer tickets at prices significantly lower than the standard rate.

“Use common sense,” Guajardo wrote in an email to Red & Black. “Scammers may try to lure consumers by offering tickets or merchandise well below market rates. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Scam Prevention Policies

Hardin said he can’t verify every account that asks to become a member of his exchange group, but he looks for certain features to keep scammers out. All prospective members must answer a question stating that they understand the resale of UGA tickets.

“If someone tries to join the group and they haven’t answered these questions, I won’t allow them in,” Hardin said. “If they’ve only had their Facebook profile for three to six months, I don’t allow them in. If they’re not UGA-related, if they’re not football fans of the UGA or sports, I try not to allow their entry.

Hardin said he doesn’t allow the resale of student tickets because a student ID is required for purchase and he doesn’t want people selling ID cards in his band.

Additionally, the UGA Athletic Association prohibits the resale of student tickets.

“As a reminder, student tickets cannot be resold and cannot be transferred,” the Sports Association said on its website in reference to football tickets for the 2022 season. “Any student attempting to sell student tickets will have their ticket privileges revoked.”

The Association encourages students to donate tickets for games they cannot attend at the Georgia box office.

The Red & Black contacted the UGA box office, sports communications office and sports association for this story, but they did not respond to requests for comment.

Venmo, Cash App, and PayPal’s e-payment platforms have policies and advice on scammers on their respective websites.

“Venmo is designed for payments between friends and people who trust each other,” said Venmo’s Help Center. “Avoid payments for goods and services unless authorized by Venmo.”

Cash App similarly advises, but outlines the steps individuals should take and report their payments if they are scammed for goods and services on the platform.

The judgment calls

There are plenty of ways for fans to recognize scammers before they get hit. Reviewing a seller’s online presence can provide an indication of whether or not they are legitimate.

“I would look for particular things on their profile,” Hardin said. “Like, have they ever taken pictures inside the stadium? Are they Georgia fans? Are they local? Most people who have season tickets aren’t going to live in Wyoming or Texas.

Individuals should also look for inconsistencies when interacting with scammers. Hendrix watches how individuals message him privately and pays attention to their word usage and sentence structure, he wrote.

“In my opinion, these scammers are really easy to report, so sometimes I’ll message them just to waste their time. In most of those conversations, I say things like, ‘I want to buy your Georgia Tech ticket for 400 $” or “Can you meet later at Toppers to redeem tickets?” I think it’s funny to see them getting really mad at me, especially since they take so long from their day just trying to take money from innocent students,” Hendrix wrote.


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