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‘Print at Home’ Tickets Creating New Counterfeiting Concerns

12 Dec, 2018

By: Michael Popke

The days of fans printing their own tickets at home might be coming to an end.

That’s already the harsh reality at Ohio State University, which recently announced the elimination of print-at-home tickets for sports and other events. OSU officials claim fake tickets have been an increasing problem and are urging fans to rely on mobile tickets on their smartphones — or even more traditional hard-copy tickets. It also encourages them to avoid resellers and use only authorized ticket platforms, such as its own ticket office, Ticketmaster and the Ohio State Ticket Exchange.

“Every year, we deal with incidents of ticket fraud, primarily centered around more popular games on [the] schedule,” Brett Scarbrough, Ohio State University’s associate athletic director of ticketing and premium seating, told Columbus Business First. “Fraud is circulated around PDF versions, and that typically shows up in two ways: A completely faked PDF ticket designed at home, and we are starting to see more and more people buying a bad seat with manipulated seating and section numbers.”

OSU reported approximately 300 invalid tickets to the Buckeyes’ Nov. 24 game against Michigan. They included tickets previously reported lost or stolen, as well as outright counterfeit versions, according to The Lantern, Ohio State’s daily student newspaper. “Tickets that are printed in a PDF format, printed on a home computer, those are very easy to manipulate,” Scarbrough explained. “Fans that don’t have a trained eye can easily get duped.”

He added that “around 25 to 30 percent” of tickets for any given OSU game are in PDF format. “We made the decision to eliminate tickets in PDF format to provide that extra level of protection for our fans.”

These moves are becoming more common and echo the strategies some professional teams have employed. The Philadelphia Eagles, for example, started accepting digital tickets that are only on the official Eagles App this season.

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