Ticketmaster has been through a bot attack during the ticket sales of Taylor Swift’s tour last year, which sheds light on the ongoing Beyoncé ticket sales. The need for updated and effective anti-scalping measures has been emphasized again, such as the implementation of CAPTCHA, to ensure fair ticket distribution and protect the interests of fans.

1. A Quick Rundown of ticket scalping

Ticket scalping, or bulk ticket purchase, is a type of bot attack that is often seen in the entertainment industry. Scalpers use illegal or unregulated methods, like automated software(bots), to acquire tickets and resell them for profits, thus causing frustration for fans and regular buyers who are unable to purchase the tickets at a reasonable price. It also can lead to increasing ticket fraud and security concerns for buyers, as they have to be extra careful to choose ticket-selling channels.

Negative effects of ticket scalping

  1. Increased ticket prices
  2. An unexpected shortage of tickets:
  3. Loss of revenue for event organizers
  4. Increased security risks for ticket websites
  5. Unhappy experience for fans

The reason to fight ticket scalping

  1. Improve the overall ticket purchasing experience.
  2. Protect fans' interests
  3. Increase revenue for event organizers
  4. Improve the ticket sales process
  5. Enhance security

Common methods used by scalpers

  1. Automated software(bots): Scalpers use auto scripts, also known as bots, to buy tickets in bulk, leading to a shortage of tickets for regular buyers and fans.
  2. Building unsecured reselling channels: Scalpers resell tickets through unsecured channels such as online marketplaces and social media, which can increase the risk of ticket fraud and other security issues.
  3. Fraudulent ticket sales: Scalpers may also use stolen credit cards to purchase tickets or print fake tickets.

Why is ticket scalping prevalent?

There are several reasons why ticket scalping remains a prevalent issue:

  1. The popularity of the entertainment industry: With a high demand for popular events, scalping often happens where the demand for tickets exceeds the supply. Scalpers can take advantage of regular consumers by purchasing large quantities of tickets and then reselling them at a higher price.
  2. The absence of regulation: In many countries, ticket scalping is not illegal, or the regulations are not effectively enforced, which makes it difficult to prevent scalping and hold scalpers accountable.
  3. Easy access to tickets: With the rise of online ticket sales, it has become easier for scalpers to purchase large quantities of tickets, making it more difficult for genuine fans to obtain tickets.
  4. Insufficient anti-scalping measures: Scalpers have easy access to tickets through ticket websites, such as Ticketmaster. Despite the efforts of event organizers and ticket providers, scalping bot prevention measures can still be bypassed or outdated.
  5. Economic incentives: The high demand for tickets and the significant profits provide strong economic incentives for scalpers to continue their activities.

Ticket scalping remains a major issue, not only in the entertainment industry but also the industries where scalpers use illegal methods to acquire high-demanded goods and resell them for profit, leading to increased prices and decreased availability for regular buyers. To combat this, effective anti-scalping measures and bot management solutions need to be implemented.

2. Strategies for Securing Fair Ticket Access

CAPTCHA plays a crucial role in preventing ticket scalping. By deploying CAPTCHA in logins and payment sessions, ticket websites can tell if the order is made by a human or a scalping bot while CAPTCHA acts as a barrier making it more difficult for bots to buy tickets in bulk. This can help to ensure that tickets are made available to real consumers at a fair price, rather than being snapped up by scalpers and resold at a significant markup.

How to stop ticket scalping by using CAPTCHA?

CAPTCHA technology helps to protect against automated bot attacks, including account takeover, credential stuffing, card cracking, etc, offers fair access to tickets for regular buyers, and reduces ticket fraud and security risks for buyers.

Follow the steps below to make sure both buyers and ticket websites are safe during hot sales.

  1. Implement CAPTCHA for the ticket sales processes, such as user registration, sign-in, and order.
  2. Ensure the CAPTCHA system is regularly updated to stay ahead of attackers.
  3. Offer different types of CAPTCHA, such as slide CAPTCHA, audio challenge or click-and-pass verification, to prevent bots from bypassing them.
  4. Provide clear instructions for users on how to complete CAPTCHA challenges.
  5. Use CAPTCHA in combination with other bot management measures, such as honeypot and 2FA.
  6. Regularly monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of CAPTCHA in stopping scalper bots and take necessary actions to improve its efficiency.

How GeeTest CAPTCHA can help?

GeeTest Adaptive CAPTCHA helps defeat bots by using advanced AI and machine learning algorithms to create a dynamic and evolving bot detection and mitigation system that is difficult for bots to bypass. It constantly adapts to new bot attacks and improves its ability to differentiate between humans and bots. 

Additionally, GeeTest CAPTCHA also integrates risk-based analysis to further enhance its bot protection capabilities. By using a combination of image recognition, motion analysis, and risk analysis, GeeTest Adaptive CAPTCHA provides a strong and effective defence against scalper bots and helps ensure fair access to tickets for genuine fans and buyers. 

Try GeeTest Adaptive CAPTCHA today for free! Get started here.

Key features of GeeTest Adaptive CAPTCHA 

  • Advanced Bot Detection: GeeTest CAPTCHA v4 is equipped with advanced bot detection techniques that accurately distinguish between humans and bots. 

  • User-friendly Interface: The interface is designed to be simple and user-friendly, providing an optimal experience for users while improving security.

  • Customizable Design: The CAPTCHA can be customized to match the design of your website, providing a seamless and consistent user experience. 

  • Customizable and Scalable: GeeTest offers customizable options to fit the specific needs of a business or event, and can scale to accommodate any size or volume of ticket sales. 

3. Alternative measures to Stop Ticket Scalping

Network security measures are a lot more robust today than they were just a few years ago, but the increasing sophistication of bots and scalpers means that they are still a major challenge for event organizers and ticket providers. 

Apart from CAPTCHA, websites should spend more effort on security mechanisms. Here I listed a few:

  1. Identity verification methods, such as mobile phone verification.
  2. An intelligent queue system for reservations.
  3. Introducing blockchain technology for secure and transparent ticket distribution.
  4. Adopting dynamic pricing strategies to counteract scalping efforts.

4. Conclusion

While ticket scalping is still a prevalent issue, the use of CAPTCHA technology, such as GeeTest Adaptive CAPTCHA, helps to prevent ticket scalping by verifying that purchases are made by real people and not bots, reducing ticket fraud and security risks. 

Join the fight against scalper bots and ensure fair access to tickets for genuine fans and buyers by incorporating GeeTest Adaptive CAPTCHA into your ticket sales process today!

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Hayley Hong

Content Marketing @ GeeTest