Event Ticket Chargeback and Fraud Prevention


There's fraud in every industry, but global law enforcement is saying those who sell or resell tickets online face extraordinary risk of fraud.

Heading into Ticket Summit in Las Vegas, I'm thinking about the challenge of balancing great customer service with healthy ticket fraud prevention. 

New call-to-actionIt's a blessing and a curse when your customer needs overnight or even same-day delivery of tickets. A blessing because it seems to be an opportunity to earn praise and loyalty... not to mention appropriate rush fees. But a curse because it puts you at higher risk of fraud than just about any other kind of merchant.

More and more tickets bought last minute are bought with stolen credit cards. When that happens, the tickets are delivered electronically then immediately resold.

Once in a great while you may figure out within hours that the purchase was fraudulent, and be able to tip off authorities. But even then, it's usually not the bad guy sitting in the seat when police show up. It's usually a good guy, who unknowingly bought the ticket from scammers engaged in ticketing fraud.

An order for same-day tickets puts you in the hot seat. Is this an opportunity to earn loyalty and rush fees? Or a test of your fraud prevention system?

(Last week Suresh posted about a two day global operation to stop ticketing fraud. The global sweep involved INTERPOL's central command post coordinating Europol, Ameripol, and French, Columbian, Dutch, American and Canadian law enforcement and representatives from 74 airlines plus many online travel agencies and credit card companies. INTERPOL said some stopped at boarding gates are also suspected of trafficking, cybercrime, and terrorism.)

Manage Chargeback In-House Or OutshoreOf course, there's another way merchants who sell or resell tickets get shorted: chargebacks. Some customers try to get something for nothing. They may contact the issuer and claim they never received the tickets, for example.

With the right representation and records — like a photo of the guy in the seat, using the tickets he said he never got — merchants do win chargeback disputes

But with proper documentation and teamwork, savvy online merchants are winning chargebacks. Most sporting events and concerts these days are televised or recorded - often times with very wide shots of the crowd. And recordings like those have the ability to zero in on a specific seat.

It's amazing how, with the right representation and documentation — including, say, a photograph of the client in the seat, using the tickets he said he never got — merchants can win chargebacks.

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