Some fraudsters use technology that are so sophisticated that their tickets look authentic. Unless a ticket is from a trusted source, some ticketing companies admit, it may be difficult to truly verify it as authentic by just looking at it. When in doubt it is best to have a ticket checked by someone from an authorized distributor, such as Ticketmaster.
Still there are some indicators that are reliable enough to judge a ticket as likely a weak knockoff. Here are some of them:
Appearance of physical tickets. Physical tickets should look professionally done. To begin with, the paper should look sturdy.. The words should be perfectly spelled as well, and neither should they have errors in grammar, character spacing and punctuation. The graphics should look seamless, not carelessly put together. The ink and printing should not look smudged and cheap either.
Word spelling and the use or absence of other characters should be scrutinized (with a partner if possible). Despite looking authentic, some fake tickets give themselves away just by these mistakes. Many folks cannot easily detect them, however, so it is always advisable to check and recheck a couple of times.
Bar codes that have lines spaced too far apart or generally look sloppily done are also doubtful.
No or suspicious-looking authenticating mark. Many tickets have a watermark or a hologram as proof of authenticity. They can sometimes be found not only in one spot-other locations can only be revealed only with black light. If a ticket does not have them where they should be or if the marks are too dull, it is likely a counterfeit.
Information. The tickets should contain important accurate information, such as time, venue and date. Word spelling and punctuation should be looked at closely. On dates, the comma, for example, should come after the day, not before it (as in, 'January 3, 2013', not January, 3 2013.'
Additionally, some scalpers sell authentic tickets for dates different from what customers expect. It is important, therefore, to check the dates.
Being extra conscious about the behavior of sellers is likewise good practice to tell whether or not their wares are fake. If they decline or hesitate when asked for identification or a copy of their purchase receipt, it should rouse buyers' suspicion. Other indicators are insistence on cash payment and refusal to have the tickets certified by someone else.
There are many well-meaning and honest secondary-market sellers out there who sell authentic tickets. But to ease all doubts on future purchases, buyers need to go for authorized or reputable sources. Tickets from them authorized sources are guaranteed to be authentic, while those from reputable secondary market sellers have an assurance that buyers will get replacements, refunds or credits on future purchases if in case they get fake or invalid tickets.