How To Spot A Fake Scalped Ticket: Commas, Fonts, And Bad URLs

Maura / February 11, 2009

Back in November, designer and blogger Andrew Hearst wanted to see AC/DC at Madison Square Garden. The only problem? The show was sold out. So he and a friend took a flier on a pair of $60 seats from a possibly disreputable gentleman standing outside the arena, and in exchange for their money, they were given two tickets in the style of the one above this paragraph. Study the ticket closely, and then see if you can guess what happened next:

She took one glance at mine and said, “I’m sorry, sir, this is fake.” She and her co-workers clearly felt sorry for us, but we just laughed and said we had a feeling they were probably fake. I asked her to show me a real ticket, and sure enough, it looked like all the others I’ve bought over the years. She said there aren’t other styles….

The main giveaway isn’t the use of Arial throughout; corporate behemoths like Ticketmaster have never been shy about using that awful typeface. No, the forgery is obvious because the typesetting is so amateurish. There’s an errant space in the Live Nation URL; an impossible slash in the AC/DC URL; and a stupid comma in “NOV, 13 2008,” to name just a few things.

Oh, URL proofreading! Meanwhile, Hearst took some time to scan the backs of his phony ducat and a real ticket from an earlier show (the fake one’s on top):

A few obvious differences there, although I’m sure they’d pass most peoples’ harried “it’s 9:30 and the band was supposed to go on at 9:15″ smell tests in the low lights of the street.

The Unbearable Lightness of a Counterfeit AC/DC Ticket [Panopticist]