You may be planning to enjoy a summer concert soon. If so, you may want to take some extra steps to keep your tickets safe, after a woman says her tickets disappeared, right out of her digital account.
Marilyn Young said she was looking forward to a big 1980's concert as part of her high school reunion.
"I purchased tickets back in December to Styx, REO Speedwagon, and Loverboy," she said.
Then she received a notification on her phone from Ticketmaster that stated she had successfully "transferred" her tickets to someone else.
"I realized they were transferred to an email that wasn't me, looked like mine, but it was different, and there was no way I could retrieve them," she said. "They were gone!"
She says there was no two-factor authentication for the transaction, where she could have denied the ticket transfer. Someone had logged in to her Ticketmaster account with her password, then stole the tickets.
Young is not the first victim of this crime. Several news stories nationwide in the past few years report similar cases of missing tickets.
Not a breach of ticket sites
We contacted Ticketmaster, who said its site "has not been breached." So it appears Young's password had been compromised.
The Better Business Bureau says it has seen an increase in ticket-related scams in the past year. One reason is the return of live in-person entertainment, as well as the increase in digital-only tickets, according to Josh Planos of the BBB.
"It could be the most reputable company in the world," Planos said, "and still, there's still the possibility you could be hacked."
Planos says there is always risk associated with online purchases, in many cases due to password theft, through a data breach, easy-to-solve password, or password that was used on another site that had been compromised.
"Your personal and payment information is your currency online; it is the composite of who you are and once that account is compromised, your other accounts are on the chopping block," he said.
What you can do
To keep your tickets safe:
- Keep passwords complex and up to date (Never use the word "Ticketmaster" in your password for that site).
- Never share the same password among multiple websites.
- Take screenshots of your tickets so you have proof if you need to file a case.
Ticketmaster finally issued Young a new pair of tickets, and she was able to go to her 1980s reunion concert.
We were unable, however, to get an answer from Ticketmaster as to why Young was not able to stop the transfer with two-factor authentication, something most banks and financial institutions now offer.
Marilyn Young's advice is to be diligent.
"You should change the passwords with your accounts on a regular basis, and just make it that much tougher for somebody," she said.
That way, you lower your risks of having your account hacked, and you don't waste your money.
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