With football season back in full swing, some National Football League (NFL) teams are warning fans to be on the lookout for counterfeit tickets.
This week, the Superbowl winning New Orleans Saints issued a statement saying fake tickets for their home opener against the Minnesota Vikings were circulating “in the secondary market” – via the Internet and/or scalpers.
“These tickets will not be accepted at our games and those fans that purchase the counterfeit tickets will sadly be unable to gain admittance to the games,” said Michael Stanfield, vice president of ticket sales for the Saints.
A key to identifying fake tickets is to check for barcodes that not only lend authenticity to the ticket, but are also unable to be replicated. A fake ticket won’t be able to replicate these barcodes, says Stanfield.
Other manufacturers are stepping up the security features on their tickets in order to prevent counterfeiting.
Leading up to the Commonwealth Games in Delhi this August, organizers printed tickets that contained many of the same security properties as banknotes.
Printed on the same press that manufactures the R1000 banknote for India, and on the same security paper as the Indian currency, the tickets for the Commonwealth Games were embedded with both visible and invisible security features including holograms and barcodes – like the ones used on NFL tickets.
“The bar codes will be read with scanners,” said Monica Jolly, director of ticketing for the Commonwealth Games. “So, faking them will be next to impossible.”
Other anti-counterfeiting devices such as no-copy inks and thermo chronic inks can be applied to tickets as well to avoid the creation of fakes. One of the most popular security devices is a visible shiny varnish on the ticket that reflects light if it is copied, producing an inferior product. Another measure being used in the industry is holographic glitter embedded in a coating covering the ticket. UV printing is also a common device employed to thwart counterfeiters, as well as foil stamping, unique barcodes and embossed logos.
National Football Post: “Saints Issue Counterfeit Ticket Warning”
Hindustan Times: “Printed On Currency Paper, Games Tickets Finally Launched”
Global Paper Security: “Taking Stock of Tickets”