Be wary of these Facebook event scams - and 5 ways to avoid them

Posted at 8:30 PM, Jun 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-22 02:12:47-04

DENVER -- From the Denver Lights Fest - that's been called off twice - to canceled color runs, to the Boulder Marathon that never was three years ago, trendy events like these are all over Facebook and often never end up happening.

"There's so much fake out there, and it's very hard to tell the difference between one and the other," said security expert and Metro State University professor Steve Beaty.

While it can be difficult to spot a scam, Beaty shared five tips you can use to avoid falling victim.

1. Do your research: check online reviews, and pages for the same event in other states to see if it was canceled or if other people posted complaints.

2.Call the venue: Beaty suggests calling the venue where the event is supposed to be held. Ask them if the event is happening, and make sure they have the required permits needed to host the event.

3.Don't buy tickets directly from an event: "I recommend staying away from any of the sites that you're going to buy tickets at unless they're the usual outlet for tickets [like StubHub or Ticketmaster]," explained Beaty.

4. Pay with a credit card: using a credit card will allow you to dispute the charge if the even ends up being canceled.

5. Read the fine print: look for anything that says no refunds. Beaty said any event that says it offers no refunds should be a red flag.

Beaty also showed Denver7 how easy it is for anyone to create a public Facebook event. Social media sites do very little to verify events.

"Don't spend a lot of time looking for it because they think it's fairly innocuous and of course it can be until your money gets stolen," Beaty explained.