If you’re hoping to get a last minute ticket to the World Series, you may need to watch out for ticket scams.
A West Virginia man was arrested on Friday for allegedly selling fake World Series tickets.
Ondre Nelson, 54, of Huntington, sold a man the fake tickets near the entrance to Nationals Park.
The Washington Post reports Nelson sold five fake tickets for $2,000.
He has been charged with first-degree fraud.
D.C. police advise those looking to purchase tickets should buy from an official website, ask for a physical receipt of the purchase, and be wary of prices that seem too good to be true.
For some, a counterfeit might be easy to spot. For others, it’s not as simple. If you’re uncertain how to spot a fake, look for these telltale signs:
- Printed on low-quality paper – This one is easy to catch. Most counterfeits are printed on low-quality paper, or printing will be smudged and faded. However, D.C. police note that just because a ticket appears legitimate, doesn’t always mean it is.
- No physical receipt – If the ticket is legit, the scalper will provide a receipt. If they make excuses why they can’t provide one, it’s likely because the ticket is fake.
- Doesn’t pass the “scratch test.” Use a penny [or your nail] and scratch a small spot of the ticket. If the markings smudge, than the ticket is likely fake.
- Overall appearance – Ticketmaster tickets are printed on hard stock paper and feature a thin lamination which creates a slight glare in the light. If your ticket doesn’t have those attributes, and looks somewhat dull, than it’s likely the ticket is a counterfeit.
- Doesn’t have a Ticketmaster logo – Ticketmaster’s logo is universally easy to identify. It features the word “Ticketmaster” repeated over and over, creating a thin blue rectangle. It may be outlined by a large white rectangle containing the event in the center of the ticket. If there’s no colored border, that should raise concern.
- No bar code – If the bar code is blurry, smeared, includes smudged lines or absent: odds are your ticket is a fake.
- Incorrect coloring and seating chart- The base color for majority of U.S. tickets are white. There might be other colors included, but the base will always be white. If the base of your ticket is a different color than white, that’s an issue. Make sure to check if the seating chart is correct as well. Seating charts are usually in alpha numerical order. Authentic tickets will include a number and letter in their seating chart, reading something like this: Floor 1, Row A. However, counterfeit tickets will include all numbers and look something like this: Floor 1, Row 1.
To learn more about scalping ticket fraud, head to the D.C. police page. Already planning to go to the game?
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of time:
Nats World Series FAQ: Everything you need to know