With a variety of shows, concerts, and plays that run through any area in Canada; people turn to Ticketmaster, Craigslist, StubHub, and Kijiji to purchase the tickets to see the shows that excite them.

When we are so excited to see our favourite artists live, we can become blind to the warning signs of a possible scam when purchasing tickets online.

In Edmonton a man was charged with 109 fraud-related charges that happened on Kijiji between January and November 2014, according to CTV News Edmonton.

The majority of the victims were students and single parents. People who would have saved for months, or all year to go and see these events.

So how can you lessen your chance of being a victim of online ticket scams?

Here are six tips to help you:

  1. Do your best to stick with known and legitimate sites (Ticketmaster, TicketsNow, or StubHub), or buy from the venue itself as they offer customer support and buying guarantees.
  2. If you are using a lesser-known site, do some research. Here is the Canadian Ticket Brokers Association (http://ctba.ca/members) and the National Association of Ticket Brokers (http://www.natb.org/MemberList.aspx). You can also check to see if an item is stolen by checking the Canadian Police Information Centre database. (http://www.cpic-cipc.ca/index-eng.htm)
  3. If you do use Kijiji or Craigslist, try to do the transaction in person and in a public area. Or meet at a location where e-tickets can be verified.
  4. If the resale value of the ticket is of lesser value than the market value, ask why and if the seller can provide a purchase receipt.
  5. Do not hand over the money for the tickets, unless you have them in your hand. Some have paid for the tickets before they received the ticket. Then they never hear from the seller again, nor see their tickets.
  6. If you can not meet up in person, use a credit card or Paypal. Reason: they both have processes for reversing a payment or solving a dispute if you do not receive the tickets that were advertised. If you pay cash or do an etransfer, there will be no recourse if the ticket is not legitimate.

Through Edmonton’s police initiative called the Online Fencing Project (that focuses on stolen items and fraudulent services offered online), 50 people have been charged with 450 criminal offenses thus far.