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

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]

  • Audif Jackson Winters III

    On the other end, some counterfeiting rings are getting even more sophisticated. There were some extremely precise fakes done for certain SEC football games this fall that included holograms, and fleeced big spenders out of hundreds for worthless tickets.

    I usually try to avoid buying from guys off the street, but if I do, I always get them to agree to have one person go in with a ticket, and then pay. If they are real, most guys will do this.

  • Luke N Atmaguchi

    I’m going to a CHRIStian ROCK concert. It’s gonna be one wholesome evening!

  • Lucas Jensen

    @Audif Jackson Winters III: You’re from around here, aren’t you.

  • DJorn

    I’ve bought and sold tickets out on the sidewalk many times, and the personal rule that I only sell extras to fellow fans for face value has always served me well in the karma department. Only once did I get suckered by forgeries (as blatant as the one above, I might add). The door guy at Irving Plaza took one look, said “These tickets are fake; don’t buy tickets on the street here again,” then let us in anyway.

    If you’re reading this Mr. Doorman… I still owe you a beer.

  • Anonymous

    Designer and blogger Andrew Hearst is a a fucking dipshit and shouldn’t be allowed at rock shows. LOOK AT THAT FUCKING TICKET!!

  • CaptainPeacockSuit

    I’m Andrew Hurst. I would never fall for that.

  • Robbie

    I bought tickets off a website and when I printed them out I aciddentliy smudged the barcode . Am I allowed to re-print them out or no?..