­čĆĚ Website Review and Tips on How to Avoid Scams

Written by Tia

Step 1: Decide you want to scam people. Step 2: Overcharge people on a product that you have yet to acquire. Step 3: Really, really bad karma?

I'm starting to think this is just the ultimate formula for scammers these days, so I want to get you guys in on it, so it doesn't happen to you. Here's a review of a website I had a bad purchasing experience on, which brought to mind some tips I've learned recently on how to avoid scams, ripoffs, and tricks of the money-making world.

Scams nowadays wear interesting disguises

Rather than blatantly steal from you, they just dramatically overcharge for products, marketing them as a deal, higher quality than they are, or the best offer out there currently. They use tricks like getting to the top of a google search to help legitimize their site and prices, and rely on shoppers who are in a rush and won't notice their lies until it's too late.

They do all of this so there's no action you can take afterward. You've been tricked, but because you end up receiving a product, you can't accuse them of thievery, and you end up feeling like a fool who trusted the wrong people.

But the truth is: They did everything in their power to make you believe you were getting a better product/deal/etc. than you actually got. And it sucks that the only solution is to just be more paranoid and less trusting in the future—but that's all you can really do right now. Because they didn't rob you—not really. They just tricked you.

Of course, if you're me, you can get super pissed off at the company for tricking you into paying more than double for something that costs a reasonable price elsewhere, and SUPER pissed off at yourself for being such a willing and easy target, and decide you want to do everything you can to save other people from repeating your mistakes when it comes to these kinds of tricks.

How to quickly recognize a scam

Research is really the only way to combat these kinds of scams. But what can you do when you're busy and don't have time to deeply research every online purchase? Or when a website has a timer, like Folsom & Co. did, to encourage people to rush their purchases in order to "get the special deal in time?"

There are some sort of go-to websites you can use that will help you find out if the site you're using is a scam, a ripoff, or just no good. They aren't full-proof, but they could help you get the pulse on whether or not a site is legit or full of shit.

  • ResellerRatings - This site is more specifically for reviewing Resellers (as the name implies). It was the first place I noticed people slamming 
  • Ripoff Report - More people here fought back against They even have categories to list what kinds of problems you've run into.
  • Review Centre - There are lots of categories here, so they seem to hit most everything that can be reviewed. People here slammed Tickets-Center as well.

What's up with in particular?

Their deal is basically that they sell event tickets at doubled (or more) prices, refuse cancellations or refunds, and don't even get you your tickets until right before the event. My experience with them has been negative to say the very very least.

If you read the reviews of others linked above (which you definitely should), you will see that this company consistently more than doubles their prices for event tickets (compared to original prices and even the common resell prices on other sites), and are theorized by some reviewers to be purchasing tickets from other resellers at lower prices so they can sell them to you at higher prices. Sort of like a very severe middleman.

I was pretty fortunate because the tickets I bought are really cheap on other legit websites, like StubHub and TicketMaster, so when they more than doubled the price of my tickets on Tickets-Center, I ended up not losing too much (original tickets ranged about $20-40 dollars, and Tickets-Center sold them to me at $80-90). In other people's reviews, they revealed Tickets-Center demanded thousands of dollars for tickets worth a couple hundred. So, in some sense, I was fortunate. But in another, I wasn't at all. Because a $1,000 ticket would have been a clue to me that the website wasn't home to deals but something quite the opposite, and I might have backed out, but an $80 ticket didn't sound unreasonable to me until I looked up the prices elsewhere.

The problem for me was that I didn't really notice anything was off because the price was still in the range of what I (erroneously) thought was logical for a ticket price. Because I'm used to big city prices of concert tickets, I thought these ones were pretty reasonable. But for the smaller town I am in now, they are actually unreasonably high—I just didn't suspect anything because I was so used to $100+ concert tickets that I didn't realize these tickets might cost much lower elsewhere.

AKA: I was being an un-cautious fool, and the website took good advantage of that. I got too excited about the concert and rushed it. I did not suspect that the first non-sponsored, non-ad link on google (the first legitimate link) would be a site with obscenely low reviews and a reported record of overcharging customers unreasonable amounts, but it is my unproven theory that this website found a way to appear unusually high in searches for this concert/venue (there is an easy way to do this—it involves hiring people for a few cents to search for your website and remain on it for 30 seconds, so it boosts your site's height in searches). And now here I am, feeling and looking foolish.

Don't be a fool like me.

How to report online scams

Here are some places you can report scams, like a vigilante of internet justice (okay, that might be a bit melodramatic, but it certainly made me feel better):

  • Ripoff Report - Mentioned above. You can file reports against sites/companies. Put them on the ripoff radar for being as terrible as they are!
  • Better Business Bureau - You can report scams here as well. They report on scams and work with government agencies (seemingly U.S. and Canada only or primarily) to keep people informed and safe from bad and immoral business practices.
  • Federal Trade Commission - The FTC will take reports on everything from identity theft to scams and ripoffs. Don't let bad businesses get away with their crimes!
  • - Another U.S. government website where you can report scams. 

And you should report scams. I do. On all those sites.

I created this post because I'm honestly so angry. I think I was being foolish and I fell into a trap—and part of that will always be on me. But seeing all these other reports from people about how many hundreds of dollars this site has taken from them, I feel as though it's more important than ever for people to speak up about their experiences and review products/sites/everything. Because I am sure no one else is looking for this kind of negative experience when purchasing event tickets.

If your business is trickery, I hope my honesty kills you.


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