PHOENIX – In a letter sent to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) today, Attorney General Mark Brnovich is urging the federal government to do more to combat a recent rise in fake events.
The FTC has requested public comment on the online event ticket sales marketplace in preparation for a March 2019 workshop. Brnovich’s letter addresses several events that were scheduled to occur in Phoenix and Tucson during the last two months, but never took place: the Crab and Lobster Feast, the Dragons and Skulls 5K runs, and the 2018 Women EmpoweredUp Conference. After investigations revealed the scheduled 5K runs and the Women EmpoweredUp Conference were being falsely advertised or were associated with prior fake events, Brnovich issued consumer advisories warning about the events, in an effort to help consumers avoid paying for events that were not going to occur as advertised.
“Fake events are an increasing problem,” said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “We’ve been able to warn consumers about recent fake events before they were allegedly supposed to happen, but Arizona can’t do it alone. This is a growing, nationwide problem that will require states and the federal government to work together to solve it.”
The letter to the FTC sounds the alarm about a sharp rise in fake events since 2016, including numerous food festivals across the country. Although AG Brnovich has aggressively prosecuted organizers of fake events, and identified bogus events before they occurred, it appears that in many cases in other states, action has not been taken against fake event scammers.
In the letter, AG Brnovich calls for increased cooperation by the FTC and other states to stop future fake events.
Copy of the letter.
If you believe you are a victim of consumer fraud, you can file a complaint online at the Arizona Attorney General’s website. You can also contact the Consumer Information and Complaints Unit in Phoenix at (602) 542-5763, in Tucson at (520) 628-6648, and outside of the metro areas at (800) 352-8431.