BBB Tip: How to avoid purchasing fake tickets to events | Business

As another Texas summer with record-breaking heat ends and the beginning of the fall season approaches, many people will be looking to get out and enjoy themselves at various events across the state. Residents may be planning to watch their favorite sports team compete this season or attend a concert featuring a famous musician. With the prices of tickets to major events increasing and the ever-present threat of con artists capitalizing on marketplace trends, BBB recommends consumers exercise caution when searching for and purchasing tickets to their next event.

While most people know to be careful when purchasing tickets off a third-party website or reseller, recent reports to BBB Scam Tracker show a concerning trend of scammers disguising themselves as reputable ticket sellers when interacting with the victim. These schemes often leverage the credibility of companies such as Ticketmaster to convince victims to provide payment for tickets that are either fake, for the wrong event or priced significantly higher than the going rate. Some may also advertise discounted tickets for high-priced seats or sections, which turns out to be false once the tickets are received, or the purchaser arrives at the venue.

In many worst-case scenarios, a consumer who is provided a fake ticket plans an entire weekend around the event, including travel costs and a hotel room, only to be turned away at the entrance. Victims may also find that the credit or debit card used to pay for the tickets has a series of charges they do not recognize, resulting in them having to cancel the card and dispute those transactions with their bank to varying degrees of success.

To help prevent fraudulent sellers from interrupting your event plans, Better Business Bureau provides the following tips:

  • Purchase directly from the venue whenever possible. Many consumers automatically go to a secondary resale market to purchase tickets for an upcoming event before first checking with the venue. Going directly to the venue may not only save money but is also a way to ensure that a purchase is for a valid ticket. Venues also often include what secondary resale organization they are listing their tickets on, giving consumers an additional layer of protection from purchasing fake tickets.
  • Consider your source. There is a significant difference between purchasing a ticket from a professional ticket broker and a ticket scalper. While dealing with the latter may result in obtaining valid tickets, the risk of encountering a scammer is significantly greater. Always exercise caution when purchasing from sources that are not members of the National Association of Ticket Brokers (NATB) or Better Business Bureau.
  • Research the seller/broker. Brokers who are members of NATB offer a 200% purchase guarantee on tickets, protecting consumers that use their services. Visit to confirm you are interacting with a NATB-member resale company.
  • Check for website encryption. It is good practice to always check for the lock symbol in the website address, indicating a secured system is enabled on the site. BBB strongly recommends against giving any banking information to websites that are not secured.
  • Know the refund policy. Only purchase tickets from a ticket reseller that clearly details the purchase terms. Avoid sellers who do not disclose where the seats are located or where purchasers can pick up tickets. If the deal seems “too good to be true,” trust your instincts and thoroughly investigate the seller before purchasing tickets.
  • Use protected payment options. Debit or gift cards, mobile banking apps and cash transactions are risky due to difficulties recovering money if the tickets are fake. BBB recommends using credit cards for all online purchases due to the additional protections they offer consumers to obtain a refund.
  • Verify tickets. If you doubt the authenticity of a purchased ticket, present it to the “Will Call” or customer service center of the event venue. They will inform you if it is legitimate or explain how a legitimate ticket for their venue should look.

If you have been a victim of a fake ticket scam, report it to BBB Scam Tracker. Information provided could prevent another person from falling victim.

For more information about ticket scams, visit

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Yeager sees spike in travel, 75th anniversary events kick off this Memorial Day weekend

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — First time flyer Gianni Shortt, of St. Albans, says he’s heading to Florida to be with his family this Memorial Day weekend.

“This is my first time flying. My dad has flown before and my brother and sister have, but I have never flown,” he said.

Shortt, 14, told MetroNews it hasn’t been an easy journey so far. He and his dad were scheduled to catch a flight out of West Virginia International Yeager Airport (CRW) to Washington Dullus International Airport Friday morning, but they were by about six hours.

“My dad got me a window seat. I was excited, but we got delayed a lot,” Shortt said.

More than 700 flyers passed through the TSA checkpoint Thursday, the busiest travel day of the week, according to airport spokesperson Rachel Urbanski.

The start of the holiday weekend comes as the same time the airport kicks off events to celebrated their 75th anniversary of commercial flights.

“We have historical aircraft. It’ll be a B-17 Yankee Lady coming in today and tomorrow. We also have some other dates schedule in June, July, August and October,” she said.

Many flyers were delayed Friday due to storms in the Washington, D.C. area where most had connecting flights. William Bailey is originally from Poca and said he was trying to get to his new home in Maine.

“Found out they got tornado warnings there,” Bailey said. “All D.C. flights are canceled for the best because of safety and so now I’m trying to find a flight to get back to Maine.”

Travel is expected to be busy throughout the weekend with a lot of return flights on Monday.

Urbanski said a lot of people depend on the airport to get to where they need to be. Over the years, they’ve opened a U.S. Customs facility to increase international travel.

“We’ve become more attractive to international business and helping with that local economic impact as well,” Urbanski said.

She also noted a lot has changed in the last 75 years, including a name change and full re-brand.

“We’re really proud just how far we’ve come, but we’re really proud that we’ve maintained our roots while also being steadfast in our journey for the future of aviation,” she said.

The airport has several planned events to mark the milestone anniversary, including hosting a Business After Hours in the Bill Noe Flight School’s hangar in June. There will be historic aircraft visits at the outdoor viewing area or playground located off Eagle Mountain Road.

Below are the list of events planned this year:

• May 28 – 29 Memorial Day Weekend: B-17 Yankee Lady
• June 18-19: C-47 Hairless Joe
• July 2-4: DC-3 Flagship Detroit
• July 2: Marshall’s Bill Noe Flight school open house
• August 13-14: B-25 Rosie’s Ripley
• October 25-30: CAF Red Tail Exhibit

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Commissioner Nikki Fried Shares Tips for Avoiding Scams During Older Americans Month / 2022 Press Releases / Press Releases / News & Events / Home

Tallahassee, Fla. — With May marking Older Americans Month, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumers Services Nikki Fried is sharing tips to recognize and avoid consumer fraud scams, specifically those that target seniors.

“With $3 billion in annual losses from scammers among older Americans, it is critical to educate our seniors and caretakers of elderly loved ones on how to recognize the signs of fraudulent activity to protect against fraud,” said Commissioner Fried. “Together, we can help raise awareness of the warning signs to protect against becoming a victim of fraud and crack down on those criminals targeting seniors – not just during Older Americans Month but year-round.”

General Rules to Avoid Scams:

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recommend the following tips to help avoid fraud:

  • Resist pressure to take immediate action. Scammers will try to isolate you and will use scare tactics to create a sense of urgency. Don’t be rushed, and don’t believe anyone who says you don’t have time to talk to a friend or family member. Take the time to do your own research and talk with someone you trust.
  • Do not send money. If you are contacted by someone asking you to transfer money for them, it is most likely a scam. Wiring money is like sending cash. Once you send it, it’s gone. It is also never a good idea to deposit a check from someone you don’t know, especially if the stranger is asking you to wire money back to them.
  • Be wary of gift cards and cryptocurrency. Scammers utilize these forms of payment because they are hard to trace. Once the information from your gift card is obtained, it can be used by anyone. No legitimate business or government agency will insist that you pay with a gift card. For this same reason, anyone asking you to pay with cryptocurrency is likely a scammer. Cryptocurrency payments do not come with legal protections and once sent, are almost impossible to recover. 
  • Report fraud. If you are contacted by anyone using the previous listed methods to pay or send money, please report the incident to FDACS online or by calling 1-800-HELP-FLA (1-800-FL-AYUDA).  Additionally, please report to the FTC at

Most Common Financial Scams Targeting Seniors

According to the National Council on Aging, seniors are more susceptible to the following scams:

Government Imposter Scams: An imposter scammer pretends to be someone you trust, oftentimes a government agency like the Social Security Administration, or the Internal Revenue Service. The scammer can have a fake name or number show up on your caller ID to convince you. Often, they will inform you your Social Security or Medicare benefits are in danger if you do not pay a fee or provide identifying information.

  • Do not trust the phone number: Often scammers will spoof the phone number from a relevant agency.
  • How to proceed. If you or a family member divulged personal identifying information or initiated a payment, follow these steps to protect yourself from further harm.

Grandparent or Emergency Scams: Emergency scams usually target parents, grandparents, or other family members. In these instances, someone calls or sends a message claiming to be a child or grandchild in trouble or the friend of a family member who is in trouble and urges the targeted victim to wire money immediately to help with an emergency.

  • Validate before you send money. Confirm the person’s identity before taking any steps to help. Ask the person questions that only your loved ones would know and be able to answer.
  • Verify with others. Before you send any money, verify the story with someone else in your family or circle of friends.

Computer Tech Support Scams: Tech support scams rely on convincing you of a serious problem with your computer. In doing so, the scammers will sell you services to “repair” your computer or will request remote access allowing them to find personal information on your device. 

  • Consider who is calling. If you receive an unexpected phone call about your computer, hang up. Legitimate tech companies will not contact you by phone about a computer problem.
  • Do not call. If you see a pop-up window on your computer screen about potential threats, do not call the number. Real security warnings will never ask you to call a phone number.

Sweepstakes and Lottery Scams: There are many legitimate sweepstakes offered in Florida. Prizes in legitimate contests are awarded solely by chance, and contestants don’t have to pay a fee or buy something to enter or increase their odds of winning. In fraudulent schemes, “winners” almost always have to pay to enter a contest or collect their “prize.”

  • Verify the sweepstakes. Any sweepstakes offering prizes totaling more than $5,000 must file with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. This also applies to sweepstakes based in other states if they are conducted in Florida. Call 1-800-HELP-FLA (1-800-FL-AYUDA) to verify.  
  • Never pay money to receive money. No purchase or entry fee is required in legitimate sweepstakes. Legitimate sweepstakes also don’t require you to pay shipping or handling fees, insurance, or taxes to collect your prize.
  • Don’t be deceived by official looking mail. It is unlawful for a promoter to lie about an affiliation with or endorsement by a government agency or any other well-known organization.

Romance Scams. A romance scam occurs when a criminal creates a fake online identity and uses it to gain the affection and trust of a victim. In romance scams, also called confidence scams, the criminal deceives a victim into believing they have a trusted relationship and then uses the relationship to persuade the victim to give money, personal and financial information, or items of value to the scammer.

  • Consider what you post. Scammers can use details shared on social media and dating sites to better understand and target you.
  • Research the person. Look at photos and profiles using online searches to see if the image, name, or details have been used elsewhere.
  • Look for suspicious behavior. Actions such as promising to meet in person, yet always having an excuse why he or she can’t, or trying to isolate you from family and friends can be signs that you are communicating with a scammer.

What should consumers do?

  • File a consumer complaint: To file a complaint, complete FDACS’ online form or call 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352) or 1-800-FL-AYUDA (352-9832) en Español.
  • Share your story: Share your story with friends and family or on social media to help others avoid falling victim to similar scams.
  • Review our consumer resources: Consumers can find helpful tips and recourse on our website:

Background: FDACS Division of Consumer Services is Florida’s state consumer protection agency, responsible for regulating charities, handling consumer complaints, and protecting against unfair and unsafe business practices. The Division regulates businesses including motor vehicle repair shops, pawnbrokers, health studios, travel sellers, intrastate movers, professional surveyors and mappers, sweepstakes/game promotions, and telemarketers.


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Discover Some Of Canada’s Best Spots And Events For Birding

Birding isn’t just for avid ornithologists – the hobby appeals equally to families with young children, photographers, sustainability advocates and people seeking an excuse for a stroll. It’s also accessible; there’s no need to purchase fancy equipment or travel to far-off locales to watch birds. So, with World Migratory Bird Day (May 14, 2022) fast approaching, there’s never been a better time to consider when and where to enjoy the best birding in Canada.

There are 426 recognized Canadian bird species, many of which are endangered. Approximately 327 bird species live in the boreal forest, an area that lies between the treeless tundra of the Arctic and the temperature zone in southern Canada. Birders flock to areas such as Wood Buffalo National Park in northeastern Alberta and the southern Northwest Territories, which is part of the boreal forest and provides an important habitat for birds, including migratory forest songbirds. Wood Buffalo National Park is a nesting area for the last migratory flock of whooping cranes in the world. Find birding hotspots near you, and learn what species to look out for, on eBird Canada.

Canada is home to millions of migrating birds that return to its lakes and forests each spring to nest and reproduce. Learn about migratory birds by checking out local events on World Migratory Bird Day. This year’s avian celebration calls attention to the impact of light pollution on migratory birds. Light pollution causes disorientation for birds flying at night, can lead to collisions with buildings and interferes with birds’ ability to undertake long-distance migrations. You can also learn about the Canadian flyway and download a migratory bird map at Nature Conservancy Canada.

Top birding spots include:

Cape St. Mary’s Ecological Reserve in Newfoundland and Labrador is a protected seabird ecological reserve, and home to thousands of gulls, razorbills, great cormorants and other majestic feathered friends. The reserve is also the southernmost breeding area in the world for thick-billed murres. The focal point is Bird Rock, the third-largest nesting site and southernmost colony of northern gannets in North America. When to go: In early summer, the bird sanctuary comes alive with tens of thousands of migrating seabirds.

It’s a surprise to most people, but Toronto, Ontario, provides access to some of the best birding locations in the region. Tommy Thompson Park is a natural habitat for several species of colonial waterbirds, waterfowl and shorebirds, making it a favorite of birders. It’s also an important stopover during migration for many bird species that need to rest and refuel before continuing their journey. When to go: In May, you’ll have the best chance of spotting flycatchers, sparrows, thrushes and different types of warblers. Songbirds can also be heard, and occasionally seen, in the summer.

Fundy National Park in New Brunswick shelters more than 260 bird species among its marine coastal environment. In December, the park participates in a Christmas bird count, where ornithologists and visitors search the area and tally resident birds. When to go: In spring, visitors can observe up to 15 types of warblers, as well as the pileated woodpecker, junco, great blue heron, cormorant, ruffed grouse and others.

Bonaventure Island and Percé Rock, at the tip of Quebec’s Gaspé Peninsula, are home to the largest migratory bird refuge in North America. The island’s colony of over 110,000 northern gannets is the most accessible gannet colony in the world. When to go: Spot northern gannets in the summer months, generally between June and September.

Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park in Alberta is a vital birding habitat. Nearly half of all North American birds rely on the boreal forest surrounding the lake, and over 300 species regularly breed here. Visitors can pop into the Boreal Centre for Bird Conservation to learn about birds and the boreal forest; there are also interpretive trails and family-friendly programming. When to go: Spring and fall migrations are peak birding time in Lesser Slave Lake Provincial Park, where flocks of up to 3,500 migrating tundra swans have been seen. In the winter, you can see the black capped chickadee, downy woodpecker and pine siskin. Tip: the Songbird Trail, just outside the Boreal Centre for Bird Conservation, meanders through towering aspen forest, with benches for visitors to stop and listen for birds.

The George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary in Delta, BC contains nearly 300 hectares (850 acres) of managed wetlands, marshes and dykes in the heart of the Fraser River Estuary. The sanctuary has recorded nearly 300 species of birds, with the highest diversity and numbers seen between fall and spring. When to go: October to early December is the best time to see large flocks of waterfowl (including ducks, geese and swans) during migration. A flock of lesser snow geese draws crowds each year, as they arrive in BC from their nesting grounds on Wrangel Island, Russia. In March and April, thousands of shorebirds pass through the Fraser Delta, including western sandpipers, which stop to feed and roost en route to their breeding grounds in the Arctic.

Canada’s also got some great birding festivals, including:

The Huron Fringe Birding Festival, one of Ontario’s most popular birding events, takes place in late May at MacGregor Point Provincial Park. The park is bursting with bird habitats and late May captures the end of migration and the beginning of the nesting season to ensure the forests and fields are bursting with birds!

A Celebration of Swans in the Yukon commemorates the mass migration of tens of thousands of swans, ducks and geese with guided walks and education workshops (April and May).

Wings Over the Rockies in the Kootenays, BC boasts a collection of online birding workshops, presentations and events, as well as a photo contest (May 9-15).

Songbird Festival in Alberta features guided birding hikes, nature workshops, a songbird scavenger hunt, and tours of the migration monitoring station (May 28-29).

The Toronto Bird Celebration in Toronto, Ontario celebrates the spring return of some 50 million birds with online events, webinars and courses (May).

Birding Tours

In Search of Whoopers: Go in search of one of North America’s most captivating birds. The area around Saskatoon is one of the most reliable areas on the continent to see North America’s tallest bird: the endangered Whooping Crane

Lake Erie Spring Migration Tour: The songbird migration spectacle at the “Big 3” – Pelee, Rondeau and Long Point! Also includes an exclusive day boat trip to the Long Point Bird Observatory research station at the Tip of Long Point.

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Hokie Events: March 19-20 – Virginia Tech Athletics



Blacksburg, Va.
Lane Stadium
Saturday, March 19 | Gates open at 11:30 a.m. ET

Hokie Nation will get to see the football team for the first time under the direction of first-year head coach Brent Pry on Saturday at Lane Stadium for an open practice. The team will do drills in front of the fans and run a typical practice, with gates opening at 11:30 a.m. ET.


Blacksburg, Va.

English Field at Atlantic Union Park

Saturday, March 19 | 3 p.m. – Pitt

Sunday, March 20 | 1 p.m. – Pitt

Falling to Pitt 4-3 Friday, the Saturday game will be Marvel themed and foam sledgehammers will be available for early arriving fans. All games will be streamed live on ACC Network Extra.

Women’s Tennis

Blacksburg, Va.

Burrows-Burleson Tennis Center

Sunday, March 20 | 1 p.m. – No. 59 Florida State

Sunday’s match against the Seminoles will be an Orange Effect game, so fans should wear orange and take a free orange Virginia Tech mug from the marketing table.


Blacksburg, Va.

Tech Softball Park

Saturday, March 19 | 2 p.m. – North Carolina

Sunday, March 20 | Noon – North Carolina

The Hokies run-ruled North Carolina 10-0 Friday and look to claim the series on Saturday and Sunday. The two games will be streamed live on ACC Network Extra.


Blacksburg, Va.

Thompson Field

Saturday, March 19 | 1 p.m. – No. 3 Syracuse

Virginia Tech lacrosse (7-3, 2-1) will host No. 3 Syracuse in an ACC matchup at 1 p.m. The game will be streamed on ACC Network Extra. 


Swimming & Diving

Atlanta, Ga.

Saturday, March 19 | Women’s NCAA Championship

No. 21 Virginia Tech women’s swim and dive team will have six student-athletes compete in the NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championship on Saturday.


Detroit, Mich.

Saturday, March 19 | NCAA Championships

Mekhi Lewis goes for his second national championship Saturday night at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Men’s Golf

Statesboro, Ga.

March 18-20 | Schenkel Invitational

The men’s golf team will travel to Statesboro, Georgia for a three-day invitational.

Men’s Tennis

Clemson, S.C.

Sunday, March 20 | 10 a.m. – No. 54 Georgia Tech

The Hokies play at Georgia Tech on Sunday, March 20, following their first ACC win of the season by defeating Clemson, 4-3.

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Novak Djokovic out of two events due to U.S. COVID-19 travel restrictions

Novak Djokovic withdrew Wednesday from the BNP Paribas Open on the eve of the event, saying he cannot travel to the United States because he is not vaccinated against COVID-19.

Djokovic, the tournament’s No. 2 seed, cited regulations by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as the reason for his inability to play. The U.S. has been requiring foreign visitors to be vaccinated to enter the country.

Djokovic also will miss the Miami Open, which gets underway later this month. Both tournaments are Masters 1000-level events.

“While I was automatically listed in the [BNP Paribas Open] and [the Miami Open], I knew it would be unlikely I’d be able to travel,” Djokovic said in a tweet Wednesday. “The CDC has confirmed that regulations won’t be changing so I won’t be able to play in the US.”

In an additional message on his Instagram story, Djokovic said: “As international COVID regulations are always being amended, I wanted to wait and see if anything would change. The CDC confirmed today that regulations are not changing which means I will be not be playing in the US. I know my fans are looking forward to seeing me play again and I hope to be back playing for them on the tour soon.”

The men’s main draw at the BNP Paribas Open starts Thursday in Indian Wells, California. Djokovic was placed in the draw during Tuesday’s draw reveal but the tournament admitted at that time it “had not been determined if he will participate in the event.” As a seeded player, he was scheduled to have a first-round bye and would have opened his campaign for a sixth title at the event over the weekend.

Grigor Dimitrov, the world No. 35, will now move into Djokovic’s spot in the draw, and a lucky loser from qualifying will take Dimitrov’s original slot.

Djokovic has played in just one event thus far in 2022, during last month’s tournament in Dubai. After he received a medical exemption to play in the Australian Open in January, his presence in Australia sparked immediate backlash and a legal battle ensued. Ultimately his visa was revoked by the Australian government, and he was deported. He has since said he was prepared to skip playing future Grand Slam events if a vaccine was mandated.

“Yes, that is the price that I’m willing to pay,” he told the BBC in February.

Since his absence in Melbourne, he has been supplanted as the world No. 1 by Daniil Medvedev and watched as Rafael Nadal broke the record for most major titles (21) by a male player in tennis history.

With regulations varying from country to country and with restrictions easing in certain places, it remains to be seen when and where Djokovic might next play. The European clay-court season, culminating at the French Open, in which he is the defending champion, begins in April.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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Cvent sees demand grow for hybrid events

Cvent has seen its revenue grow as more clients have moved towards hosting “hybrid” events offering both in-person and virtual elements, as the meetings market picks up momentum.

The event management platform recorded a 25 per cent rise in revenue during the final three months of 2021, compared with the same quarter in 2020. 

Cvent revealed the update as part of its first results announcement since it started trading as a public company on the Nasdaq exchange in December 2021, after completing its merger with special purpose acquisition company Dragoneer Growth Opportunities Corp II.

“We delivered a very successful 2021,” said Cvent CEO and founder Reggie Aggarwal during the company’s earnings call, “We’re entering a world where in-person events are coming back. 

“Virtual events are now mainstream, and more organisers want the best of both with hybrid events. Our platform is built to power all three of these event formats – in-person, virtual and hybrid – which we like to call the triple threat.”

Cvent’s fourth-quarter revenue was $144.7 million, an increase of 25.3 per cent from the comparable period in 2020. This included Event Cloud revenue of $102.9 million, a 31.5 per cent increase from the same period in 2020, and Hospitality Cloud revenue of $41.8 million, a 12.1 per cent year-on-year increase. 

The company’s full-year revenue was $518.8 million in 2021, which was a 4 per cent increase from the previous year. Cvent’s full-year net loss was $86.1 million compared with an $83.7 million loss in 2020.

Aggarwal emphasised client gains in 2021, particularly within pharmaceutical and higher education sectors. He added that Cvent had also forged deeper relationships with existing clients. 

He noted the success of Attendee Hub as an additional sale to current clients, as well as the success of Cvent’s virtual meetings offerings. 

In terms of booking momentum, the company said it expected the highest volume jump from the first quarter of 2022 to the second quarter, as companies increase meetings schedules before levelling off in the second half of the year. 

To serve in-person events, Cvent will push its on-site event technologies, which enable organisers to track and measure attendee engagement. In addition, the company expects demand for touchless check-in and health and hygiene products like Cvent HealthCheck to remain robust.

The company said it would also invest heavily in video capabilities as part of the Cvent Studio product, which was launched in 2021.

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