SCHENECTADY, N.Y. – A Glenmont man wants to warn others to avoid his mistake of falling for an online ticket scheme.
John Donnelly wanted to buy tickets to a show at Proctors Theatre as a Christmas present for his wife, but spent hundreds more than he should have.
“When I went to this site, and I saw Schenectady Theater, Proctors Theatre, I thought this was where you’d get the tickets from,” he said.
Donnelly spent over $300 for two tickets to Sing Off on the website schenectadytheater.com, only to find out the site is not associated with Proctors Theatre.
The tickets on Proctors’ official website were only $60 each.
“I just want people to know that if they’re going to look for tickets on Proctor’s, don’t make the mistake I did,” Donnelly warned. “Make sure it’s proctors.org.”
Proctors Theatre CEO Philip Morris said he’s aware of schenectadytheater.com.
“Somebody has paid to have an ad on top of ours,” he said. “It says paid ad but don’t go to the paid ad. I feel terrible. We feel terrible. I hate it.”
Morris said he recently attended a seminar on the problem. He said it is not illegal to upsell tickets, but he often deals with sites that sell the same seats to multiple people and will sell tickets for shows before Proctors has even put them on sale.
“I would venture to say that half of the time they don’t have control of the seat when they’ve sold it to people,” he said.
Mike Stamas with Grey Castle Security said fraud involving look-a-like sties is known as phishing and often leads to credit card fraud.
“Anytime you’re putting your banking credentials into a website, you want to be 100 percent certain that the website is https not http,” he said. “There’s another thing called the site lock icon. It’s a little lock that typically is in the bottom right or upper left corner of the web browser.”
The Schenectady Theater Web site states at the bottom that it is not affiliated with Proctors. The company lists its address in the United Kingdom.
To avoid becoming a victim of a similar scheme, buy tickets at the box office or at proctors.org.