Be careful buying scalped badges

04 JULY 2012

It's that time of year where enterprising scammers offer to sell Comic Con badges to all the desperate people  who'll do anything to attend.

If this is you, caveat emptor. Badges are going for $150 a day and higher on Craigslist -  supposedly Ebay is refusing to sell them, which says a lot when you consider they'll sell haunted jars, though I did find this auction. However, there is no guarantee the badges are genuine. Or, like the aforementioned auction, the seller banks on the buyer not realizing they'll need to show a picture ID to pick up the badge.

In the past, the need for a name-matching picture ID has meant that real scalpers pick up their badges and then sell them outside. This year CCI is threatening to do random ID checks to cut down on that. Realistically, I don't think many of us will be stopped and forced to show our driver's licenses before we can enter the Exhibit Hall. There are just too many of us. 

But that doesn't mean you should go ahead and trust scalpers. For one thing: you don't really know if the badge is real or created. Unless your contact was lucky enough to get a Preview Night badge, he probably had to stand in line quite a while for to pick up that badge. How many people are going to stand in line for hours to clear a one hundred dollar profit? That's a lot of effort for little money. It's a lot faster and easier to create a realistic-looking badge (like these guys) and sell that to someone who doesn't know any better. And they do look realistic - they just don't pass the sniff test at the doors of the convention center.

Past years are rife with stories of people getting scammed. Don't be one of them.

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