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#04: Don’t Be Scammed by Companies or Individuals Selling Fake Badges for Comic-Con 2015!

Comic-Con International 2015 Toucan Tip of the Day

Several years ago Comic-Con reached capacity limits at the San Diego Convention Center and because of this we have had to limit the number of badges we can sell. High demand events like Comic-Con have tremendous fan interest and sadly that also means tremendous scalper and ticket broker interest. It is devastating to spend your hard earned money on a badge, only to be turned away at the door because they are counterfeit. It’s important to point out that counterfeit badge reproductions can look very, very convincing and it can be difficult to distinguish between a real badge and a fake one.

For this reason Comic-Con has taken great efforts to prevent scalpers and scammers from taking advantage of fans by selling badges that are fake or in some cases don’t even exist. Here are some key points to remember:

  • Comic-Con does not sell badges via any third party vendor or a secondary market such as online lists or auction sites.
  • Badges for the 2015 show sold out in record time and we are sorry to say there are no further badges available.
  • Badges are non transferrable.

To help you navigate the shark filled waters of scalpers and scammers, we want to provide you with some information that could save you from falling for a fake.

1. Simply put, Comic-Con does not supply badges to third party vendors or for sale in a secondary market. We do not send “extra” badges to brokers, travel companies, or online auctions. Badges that appear on those sites, or any site that is not the official Comic-Con registration website are being sold without Comic-Con’s consent and, in most cases, probably do not even exist.

2. Comic-Con monitors online sales platforms and actively pursues those attempting to scalp their badges on the secondary market. When we discover badges being sold on these sites, we void them. You are placing yourself at risk by buying a badge that could be cancelled without your knowledge.

3. You must present your photo ID when you pick up your badge. If someone is attempting to sell you a barcode confirmation with their name on it, you will not be able to exchange it for a badge when you arrive onsite. The name on the barcode confirmation must match your photo ID.

4. Comic-Con routinely performs spot checks for counterfeit badges and/or shared badges. Per our badge purchase Terms & Conditions: “SDCC may perform any of the following validation of badges on entry to any area of the convention. These measures are an effort to prevent illegal badge duplication and unauthorized reselling. SDCC may scan the bar code, require a photo ID that matches the name on the badge, scan RFID embedded in the badge, and examine the badge with other technological and/or physical methods to verify authenticity of the badge and holder. Before leaving any registration area please make sure that the name on the badge matches your identification.”

5. We are seeing a huge increase in counterfeit badges being sold from international brokers. Please use extra caution when corresponding with anyone from an international ticket broker or online auction.

6. Comic-Con does not offer or sell any “VIP” badges. If someone is trying to sell you a VIP badge or a badge with special access and/or privileges, do not purchase it. They are fake fake fake!

7. Comic-Con badges are never mailed out in advance. If someone is attempting to sell you a physical Comic-Con badge prior to the convention, it is definitely counterfeit. Do not purchase these badges, as they are usually DIY disasters or badges from a previous convention.

8. Each year we find people trying to scam would-be badge buyers by asking them to send payment via MoneyGram or guarantee the sale by sending a deposit. Do not fall victim to this!

If you are unable to attend Comic-Con 2015, please do not attempt to sell your badge online! Comic-Con will accept refund requests until June 15, 2015…and we are always willing to work with you should you miss the deadline date. Our goal is to not prohibit those who cannot attend from selling their badges to others, but to ensure that measures are in place to make it difficult for scalpers to purchase badges and sell them at extremely inflated rates, or even worse, sell fake badges at extremely inflated rates! We will continue to monitor the secondary market so that our fans are not getting scammed by those with dubious intent.

Remember your first, best, and most accurate source for information—including our daily Toucan Tip—is right here on the Comic-Con website and Toucan, the only OFFICIAL SDCC blog. Bookmark Toucan and the Comic-Con Front Page for the latest updates for the big show!