Beware of phony ticket sales

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Believe what you read online and it could cost you $800 to see Jersey Boys during it's three-week run in Charlotte.

Not only is that ticket price insanely high but sometimes the tickets themselves don't even exist.

We tend to think of ticket scams for concerts or sporting events.

For theater fans, the big shows are like the Final Four or the playoffs.  The tickets are hot commodities and can be hard to get.

Scammers are counting on your willingness to pay whatever it takes to see the show you want.

The last time Jersey Boys was in Charlotte,  tickets went fast.  No one, however, wants to overspend.

Tom Lane received tickets to see comedian Paula Poundstone as a gift.

"I went online myself and saw tickets for 40 or 50 bucks, and when I realized my girlfriend paid twice that I did some research," Lane said.

The website she used looked like it was affiliated with Blumenthal Performing Arts.  It had a picture of the theater, the name in the web address and there were photos of the show.

Unfortunately it's was a "dummy" site set up to fool people into overpaying.

"Just so it's clear for everybody we don't work with any brokers, period. We do all our own ticketing," said Tom Gabbard who is the President and CEO of Blumenthal Performing Arts.

He says inflated ticket prices should be the number one red flag online.

For example if you "Google" Beauty and the Beast Charlotte the first result does have Belk Theater in the name.  The tickets range from $100 to $500.

In reality, tickets start at $25 and they don't go on sale publicly until April 20th. That means this site is promising tickets they don't even have.

"If someone bites and orders the tickets these other vendors will then come to our website, buy the tickets, and then resell them marked up.  It's really unfortunate," Gabbard said.

Gabbard wants to educate consumers that tickets for Blumenthal shows rarely exceed $85.

He adds watch out for the words "second or third party" or "broker" in a website's fine print when buying tickets.

Jersey Boys started it's three week run in Charlotte this week and so far it is not sold out so tickets should not be difficult to find.

You can find the official Blumenthal website by clicking here.

Copyright 2012 WBTV. All rights reserved.