FIFA said today that about 50 people were turned away from World Cup games after trying to enter with fake tickets, warning consumers to beware of forgeries that look very, very real.
FIFA barred entrance last night to about 50 people using fake tickets like this - only detectable with scans pic.twitter.com/tCqvEXEsi9— JP Spinetto (@JPSpinetto) June 13, 2014
According to Sky Sports correspondent Bryan Swanson, who reports from Brazil, "to the human eye they look exactly the same as the genuine article." Real FIFA tickets are equipped with embedded RFID chips, which contain the personal information of the ticket purchaser (something that caused a bit of an uproar when the policy was introduced nearly a decade ago). FIFA's marketing spokesperson Thierry Weil said even if the fake tickets do contain chips, they'll fail once purchasers make it to the game. "You travel to Brazil, come to the turnstile in the stadium and that is when you will be rejected as the ticket does not have the chip. Even if there were a chip within the ticket it cannot be copied. It has some special function which clearly will reject you entering the stadium," he explained to Sky News.
FIFA's warning went out to British buyers, but U.S. shoppers also got a warning to watch out for scams from the FTC earlier this month. The commission's Alvaro Puig wrote in a blog post that the safest way to buy a FIFA ticket is through FIFA itself or a legitimate reseller or broker, and that acquiring tickets via ads online is risky for a number of reasons — even if the tickets turn out to be real. For example, you could get your tickets too late or not at all, or you could get tickets to a different match or seating location than you'd paid for. Or you might get tickets that are only valid for Brazilians.
Real tickets, on the other hand, might come with their own set of problems, according to this unofficial world cup handle:
Fans with official tickets for the World Cup opener find their seats haven’t been built yet. pic.twitter.com/SROaUT8BJO— FIFA World Cup 2014 (@FIFAWorldCupTM) June 12, 2014
So at least they'll let you into the stadium ... if the stadium is still there.