Secure Printing Cracks Down on Counterfeit Concert, Event Tickets
Counterfeit tickets to music, sporting and other events cost consumers and event organizers millions each year. To reduce losses, event promoters are turning to more elaborate event tickets that incorporate technology such as UV coating, bar codes, watermarks, and more to prevent fraud.
By utilizing secure printing technology, event organizers can help avoid losing money on counterfeits and also deter the proliferation of these bogus tickets.
Bogus Tickets Cost Event Organizers, Consumers Millions
According to CNBC, about 5 million consumers each year receive bogus concert, sporting event, and theme park tickets. The estimated cost of bogus tickets to the music industry alone runs about $4 million per month. The problem of counterfeit event tickets is particularly acute at high-dollar, high-interest events such as the Super Bowl, where many consumers fall victim to bogus ticket scams each year.
When event attendees use counterfeit tickets to get into concerts, festivals and other events, the event promoter loses revenue and legitimate attendees may be inconvenienced by overflow crowds. When consumers unwittingly buy bogus tickets and are turned away from events when they try to use these tickets, they lose the money they invested in those tickets and feel cheated.
Trafficking in counterfeit tickets is a felony in many jurisdictions and can carry significant jail time. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to catch counterfeiters, and prosecution can also be an uphill battle, limiting the justice system’s ability to deter this crime. It’s up to event organizers and consumers to lead the way in fighting ticket scams.
Secure Ticket Printing
Event organizers can reduce losses from fraudulent tickets by taking advantage of secure printing technology offered by companies like ComTix. ComTix custom tickets and wristbands make use of a number of secure printing technologies to make these products more difficult to counterfeit. Some of these common secure printing technologies include:
- Watermarks – Watermarks are images or patterns on paper that will appear lighter or darker than the area around the mark when a light is shined behind the paper. Watermarks are made by impressing a water coated stamp or roll onto the ticket while it is being printed. Watermarking is actually a very old form of technology. The first ones were used in Italy in the 13th century. This technology has proved reliable over the centuries and remains in use today. Many nations’ currencies incorporate watermarks as an anti-counterfeiting tool.
- Bar codes – By printing tickets or wrist bands with bar codes, concert and event organizers create a ticket that is tougher to counterfeit. Bar codes were originally printed as rows of parallel lines, but today many bar codes incorporate geometric shapes for greater security. Bar codes can be scanned with appropriate hardware, making processing and counting tickets much easier as well. Many bar code tickets today can be scanned with smart phones, allowing greater ease and convenience for event organizers.
- UV coating – Taking the watermark to the next level, modern secure printers can create tickets printed with images viewable only under UV light. Event security can check the validity of tickets and wristbands by shining a UV lamp on the materials. If the image shows up, the tickets or wristbands are legitimate. UV coating is tough for counterfeiters to anticipate and replicate, thus adding to its security value.
- Scratch off fraud protection – Scratch off tickets, where the bar code or serial number of a ticket is covered by a thin layer of latex, also provide added security for events. These tickets are difficult to reproduce without specialized equipment, making it much harder for bogus ticket sellers to counterfeit them.
ComTix can use these technologies to help provide clients with tickets and wristbands that will deter counterfeiting by unscrupulous individuals or businesses. The company can also provide clients with hardware needed to check and process these tickets, such as black lights, scanners, and scanner software.
ComTix’s design system is highly customizable, allowing event organizers to have their logos, slogans or important event information printed on wristbands and custom tickets. ComTix customers can choose to have tickets and wristbands printed in black and white or in full color. ComTix can also easily create different types of wristbands or tickets for events, allowing their customers to offer options such as VIP or children’s tickets.
Consumers can also take part in the fight against counterfeit tickets by exercising caution when purchasing tickets for sporting events, concerts, and other events.
To avoid purchasing bogus tickets, consumers should try to stick with known legitimate ticket seller websites such as Ticketmaster and StubHub. These sellers offer guarantees that protect consumers from fraud by unscrupulous ticket sellers. While consumers may get a better deal by buying from individuals via online classified sites like Craigslist, they also run a greater risk of purchasing a bogus ticket.
If consumers purchase from a smaller ticket selling outfit, they should research them online by checking their reviews with the Better Business Bureau. They should also check to see if the ticket seller is a member of the National Association of Ticket Brokers. Members of this group are held to a standard of professionalism that reassures consumers of the legitimacy of their products.
Consumers purchasing tickets online should check for a lock symbol in their browser. They can also check to see whether the website they’re doing business begins with https:// instead of http://. Sites that begin with https:// are encrypted to protect consumers’ financial information.
Also be sure to avoid purchasing tickets printed by individuals selling tickets on the street outside an event. Unscrupulous fraudsters often print out multiple copies of the same ticket to sell to unsuspecting consumers.
With the help of advancing ticket security technology and a more aware public, event organizers and consumers alike can avoid financial losses associated with the proliferation of bogus event tickets. ComTix is ready to help event organizers do their part by offering quick and convenient service to print secure custom tickets for events. Accredited by the Better Business Bureau, ComTix prints millions of custom tickets each year and can offer clients next day and same day delivery services.