A New Jersey website posing as the official site for the Britt Festivals allegedly lured Britt patrons into paying inflated prices for tickets that didn't exist, Medford police report.
The fake website, www.brittfestivals.com, resulted in three complaints to the real Britt Festivals offices from customers who had not received their tickets. The actual website to purchase tickets for shows is www.brittfest.org.
Donna Briggs, Britt Festivals executive director, said similar problems, such as scalpers who drastically increase ticket prices, have been ongoing throughout the concert industry.
"It's not unique to Britt by any means," Briggs said.
She added that patrons using the fake website paid about 40 percent more for their purchases.
"Generally, folks who do this, they are going to pay a lot more money for their tickets, and they're absolutely at risk for not receiving them," Briggs said.
Local police do not yet know whether the creators of the New Jersey website have been arrested. Police said it's common for scam artists to create websites with similar names in the hopes of scamming or tricking unwitting visitors. The Better Business Bureau has cited numerous examples of bogus websites, ranging from car dealerships to bank sites.
"The fallback is always shop or go to trusted sites. You have to be very careful and go through just major sites you've used previously," said Sgt. Brent Mak of the Medford Police Department. "If you're one letter off, you could be in a website that you don't know."
Those purchasing products or services online should use caution and verify a site's validity before proceeding.
"Obviously (they're) probably doing this to other places, too," Mak said.
Briggs added that Britt's official site includes a note that it is the only place online to buy tickets for shows. Customers also can call 541-773-6077 or visit the box office at 216 W. Main St.
Those who believe they have purchased bogus Britt tickets should contact Medford police at 541-770-4783.
Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.