Sharp-eyed promoters and Ticketmaster officials were able to nab about 300 of the bogus tickets as unwary would-be concert-goers presented them at the Tabernacle in Atlanta.

“Everyone worked really well together,” promoter Peter Conlon told Pollstar. “The band was great about it, Ticketmaster was great. Everyone came in there … but we got the counterfeit tickets and we stopped it at the door.”

It wasn’t the first time phony ducats had turned up in Atlanta this year. Conlon said about 200 counterfeit tickets were confiscated for the recent Music Midtown festival and he believes the two incidents may be related.

“We’re getting this at a number of shows but usually they’re pretty amateurish and unsophisticated, and easily checkable. But these were pretty good. It looks to me to be the work of the same people,” Conlon said. He noted that police squads dealing with counterfeiting and scalpers are stepping up patrols outside venues.

“With the changes in technology, this is an ever-constant threat. We’re dealing with it.”

Besides bringing in a police presence, they’re also using a public relations campaign to get the word out to consumers not to buy tickets on the street. “They’re probably not good,” Conlon emphasizes.

“These kids are so naive, they’re coming up to us thinking we’re going to honor [a counterfeit], even though they got burned. They ask, ‘well, aren’t you going to honor this for me?’ and we tell them, ‘look, there’s only so many seats on the plane here, guys; this place is sold out.’

“So they’re pretty naive about it and the scalpers distributing the tickets don’t care. They just want people to buy their tickets but we’re getting the word out that we’re stopping them,” Conlon said.

With the wide availability of high-resolution printers, scanners and other computer equipment, ticket forgery is expected to be a problem as the summer concert season rolls around and big-ticket tours – like Madonna’s – head out.

During U2’s four-night Chicago stand that began May 12, hundreds of gullible fans forked over anywhere from $65-$185 for bogus tickets from scalpers outside the United Center, only to learn they’d been scammed.

In addition to not being allowed inside the arena for the sold-out shows, they suffered the added indignity of knowing they paid up to four times the face value of a general admission seat for nothing.