Theaters warning of lookalike ticket sites

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Theaters warning of lookalike ticket sites

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by Ed Teachout, KGW Staff

Bio | Email | Follow: @KGWNews

kgw.com

Posted on August 16, 2012 at 6:25 PM

Updated Friday, Aug 17 at 11:00 AM

PORTLAND -- Adrienne Chilberg loves going to musicals at Portland’s Keller Auditorium.

“Oh my God, I love the Keller,” she said Chilberg.

So when she heard the parody "Book of Mormon" was coming to the Keller in January, she went online to see about getting tickets for herself and two friends.

“I logged on to kellerauditorium.com and, lo and behold, there are 'Book of Mormon' seats. I thought, 'You're kidding,'” said Chilberg.

Thinking the popular show would sell out quickly she purchased three tickets from the site. She said she assumed they would be expensive, but when she got her invoice she knew something was wrong.

The invoice was from i Concert Tickets LLC -- not from kellerauditorium.com -- and she said the price was outrageous.

Chilberg was charged $432 for the 3 tickets, $15 for shipping, and $97.20 for “other expenses.”

Chilberg called Keller Auditorium to complain and that’s when she got the bad news: Tickets for "Book of Mormon" don’t even go on sale until September.

“I think I got taken,” she said. “It made me mad, very mad, I mean, why do people do this?"

Weeks later, she got a call from a representative claiming to be from iConcert Tickets who wanted to verify her billing address.

"The caller said, 'Could you scan us over your credit card?' I said, 'No, I don't think so,'” Chilberg explained.

Now, she is extremely wary. She ordered her tickets through what she thought was the Keller Auditorium’s box office website, not iConcert Tickets.

Chilberg said when she visited kellerauditorium.com she believed it was the official Keller Auditorium website. A closer look revealed the site has nothing to do with Keller, and is not an authorized ticket seller for the Keller box office at all.

When she called iConcert Tickets again, Chilberg said she was told the company is a third-party seller of tickets, and that they buy tickets people want to sell on Craigslist or from season ticket holders or scalpers.

“They try to trick you,” said Peter Bilotta with the Portland Opera. “That's probably a good indication if you go to a website and the tickets seem extraordinarily expensive or the ticket service charges are very high, it's probably a fraudulent website or ticket scalper.”

The Portland Opera is handing out a letter to patrons, warning them about buying tickets from lookalike web sites or secondary market brokers.

“Sites like kellerauditorium.com, keller.auditoriumportland.com, subtopia, or any website other than http://portland.broadway.com, are not authorized to sell our tickets," the letter reads. “We have numerous problems with scalper sold tickets at every single Broadway performance, so we are trying to spread the word that these brokers are not authorized sellers."

The lookalike websites include disclaimers showing they are not affiliated with the venue names included in their website addresses.

But the invoice Chilberg received reads, “All Sales Final. Tickets will be shipping once we receive them from the venue (typically 2-6 weeks prior to the event).”

That’s got Chilberg wondering if she’ll ever see her tickets or get her money back. Invoice notes also state, “Tickets will be ready to ship by 12/28/2012.” That’s only six days before the show.

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