Green Day Fans Scammed

More than 100 Green Day fans who purchased tickets to the band’s sold-out gig at Manchester, N.H.’s Verizon Wireless Arena April 29th learned a valuable lesson: buyer beware of online ticket purchases through unauthorized sellers.

Apparently, fake tickets had been printed for the concert using an altered portable document format (PDF) file used by Ticketmaster, according to the arena’s Jason Perry. The bogus tickets were then sold either on eBay, through a ticket agency, or directly to a third party.

“If you looked at the printout of the ticket, the general public would not have known,” Perry told Pollstar. “It looked perfect. … It’s unfortunate with the ability of computers nowadays that you can make it look identical.”

Perry and venue staffers working that night knew something was fishy when ticket scanners began to read “Wrong day; wrong time.” Once the problem was detected, fans were directed to the box office.

Approximately 118 people discovered their tickets were illegitimate. Duped concert-goers were, however, allowed to purchase tickets for face value at $36 a pop. The fans were then encouraged to file reports with their local police departments, and file a charge dispute with their credit card companies.

Some younger fans who didn’t have any money were left out in the cold.

“There were some people that we obviously didn’t accommodate,” Perry said. “There were parents that dropped their children off and the children didn’t have any money.

“There were parents in disbelief when their kids called and said, ‘Hey, mom and dad, can you come and pick me up?'”

He added that the venue has since been in contact with many of the scammed patrons and they are pleased with how the situation has been handled.

Local media outlets were also informed, and a public service announcement was issued warning buyers to be cautious when purchasing tickets through the Internet.

Meanwhile, Perry said there are possible suspects related to the matter, but no specific information can be released. He did confirm that a specific ticketing agency doesn’t appear to be involved.

“We’ve narrowed it down to about six or seven people that had their hands in it,” he said, adding local authorities are investigating the situation.

Apparently, the Verizon Wireless Arena has never experienced a similar situation. Since the incident, the venue has taken measures to assure it won’t happen again.

“We’re constantly having all our accounts swept through Ticketmaster to make sure nothing like this can happen again,” Perry said.

Mitchell Peters