The law of supply and demand is a fundamental concept of economic theory. As such, it’s at the heart of the cybercrime underground and the black market economy that fuels it. Whenever there is surging demand for limited products or scarce services, you can bet that cybercriminals will be quick to exploit it for their own benefit.
As an example, cybercriminals use malicious spam, phishing email, and malware-laden websites designed to capitalize on the public’s demand for the latest news on a major breaking story. Or they might employ phony smartphone apps that are deliberately crafted to appear like popular iOS and Android applications, in order to gather personal information to facilitate identity theft.
The bad guys have also taken to ticketing fraud in a big way. This fall with some major concerts coming up, as well as the start of the college and pro football seasons, people should be on high-alert for scams designed to cash in on high demand for the hottest events around.
Ticket-based scams have become big business in the US because – like online crime in general – the return on investment for the bad guys is pretty good, while the chances of getting caught are minimal. Cybercriminals create fake ticketing sites, selling tickets for seats that don’t exist.
Some scammers use stolen cards to buy up tickets to hot events and then resell them on platforms like Craigslist and StubrHub.
Other fraudsters will ask for the fee up front with no intention of ever mailing the requested ticket.
It might seem implausible that people still fall for this kind of trick, but it’s amazing how caution and common sense can fly out of the window when online buyers narrow their sights on a high-demand event.
Fans should also be cautious about sites offering tickets to the hottest sports games and concerts in town that ask for a lot of personal information. Some of these could be little more than phishing scams designed to harvest details like Social Security numbers and bank account information, which can then be sold on the cybercrime underground markets.
How to ensure your tickets are legit
At Trend Micro, we’ve been protecting our customers from cyber threats for over a quarter of a century. Our Trend Micro Security products include award winning web-threat protection that highlights dangerous links in web searches that you should NOT click and definitely shouldn’t purchase tickets from. Another key way to ensure you’re getting legitimate tickets and not giving away your personal information is to purchase from an accredited reseller or broker, rather than an unlicensed scalper who could quite easily be a fraudster.
Here are a few more tips on how to make sure you don’t end up in trouble when buying sports or concert tickets: