Fake Food Festivals Want To Gobble Up Your Credit Card Info, Sell Fake Tickets

Image courtesy of Nicholas Eckhart

Food festivals: they’re lots of fun, great for tourism, and celebrate local cuisine and restaurants. Unfortunately, a new scam is ruining the good name of food festivals by taking consumers’ money in exchange for tickets to a food festival that doesn’t actually exist. The non-event is touring around the country: don’t get your hopes up about an unlimited crab dinner and lose your money.

Our colleagues down the hall at Consumer Reports shared how this scam works: you see an ad online, maybe on Facebook or on Groupon, for a new local food festival that you’ve never heard of, with names like the “Hot Garlic Crab Feed” or “The Super Crab Festival.” The deal is that you pay $50 for unlimited food including fresh crab, or $99 for an upgraded ticket that includes steak and lobster.

Enough people have thought this sounded like a fun time and a good deal that they bought tickets and showed up at the sites where the crab feeds were supposed to be. The fake festival has hit San Francisco, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Houston so far.

How should you know to stay away from this non-festival? Note that when you click on the site, it redirects you straight to a separate, seemingly unrelated site to buy tickets.

The purported Dungeness Crab Association website looks unprofessional, and the Facebook page that the site links to no longer exists. Unless the people behind it were very dedicated, a fake festival would have phone numbers and e-mail addresses that were fake, or that no one answered.

No matter how delicious a new festival might look, check it out before signing on to buy tickets.

Beware of the Fake Food Festival [Consumer Reports]

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