Woman claims dino expo in Nashville is a scam

Published: Jul. 21, 2022 at 6:58 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - A woman said she was scammed by an event that claims to be taking place in Nashville this coming weekend.

Brenda Calderon was looking for something to do with her kids. “I was on Facebook one day and saw it, and my daughter saw it too, and she was like, ‘Oh! I want to go to that,’” she said, referring to a Facebook ad she saw for Dino Expo Nashville.

Calderon bought eight tickets to the event, initially scheduled for the end of March. It wasn’t long before she became suspicious. “They had rescheduled it,” she explained but couldn’t’ get anyone to respond to her about changing tickets.

In a post to the event’s Facebook page, Nashville Dino Expo claims it was rescheduled because of weather damage to Bicentennial Park. The carrier said the Nashville Dino Expo was scheduled for the coming weekend: July 22 – July 24. However, a representative for Bicentennial Park told WSMV4 that no such event was taking place. Instead, they said the company canceled it in the spring.

“I was like messaging them, and the didn’t respond to me,” Calderon said. “The next day, they started deleting my comments.”She got a refund for the tickets from her bank and took them to community groups on Facebook to warn others. Calderon and WSMV4 found several other posts and comments by people with similar complaints.

WSMV4 reached out to Dino Fest Marketing CA, the company listed on the event page via Facebook and email, and did not immediately hear back.

“Counterfeit tickets sold for fake events isn’t anything new,” President/CEO of The Better Business Bureau of Middle Tennessee Robyn Householder explained. “BBB receives Scamtracker reports on this issue regularly. Scammers know what events are popular, so they develop realistic websites that are fraudulent and counterfeit tickets to steal your money and personal information. We usually provide seven tips to follow before purchasing tickets.”

The BBB recommended the following when purchasing event tickets:

  • Look for reviews and ratings of companies and events before buying tickets; visit BBB.org to learn more about a business
  • Make sure you know the return and exchange policy
  • Search online for the festival’s name and ensure the advertised name matches the website. Scammers often use words that sound similar to those of authentic festivals.
  • Check for working contact information. For example, be sure the festival website has an actual phone number, ways to reach the event holders or ticket sellers, and an email address.
  • Watch out for prices that sound too good to be true. If the prices are much lower than elsewhere, it’s likely a scam.
  • Avoid tickets sold on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and other free online listings. Scammers are skilled at providing realistic tickets and fake receipts.
  • Pay with a credit card. You can dispute the charges if the business doesn’t come through. Be wary of online sellers that don’t accept credit cards.

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