Governor Cuomo warned New Yorkers of scams surrounding Pope Francis' scheduled September visit, urging those interested to only get tickets from verified sources. The Archdiocese of New York has confirmed that tickets will not be sold for any of the Pope’s planned events and will only be made available through Catholic parishes. Additionally, other dioceses in New York State (Brooklyn, Rockville Centre, Albany, Syracuse, Ogdensburg, Rochester and Buffalo) will receive tickets to distribute to their members.
“We are proud to welcome Pope Francis to New York and I urge those interested in attending his events to obtain tickets only through the verified Catholic parishes," Governor Cuomo said. "Anyone attempting to sell tickets is a scam artist and should be avoided at all costs. Making certain that you receive valid tickets will ensure that this event remains joyous and festive for all."
Pope Francis will visit New York City on September 24th and 25th as part of his visit to the United States—the first papal visit since 2008. Consumers are urged not to respond to any solicitation about purchasing tickets for the papal visit as tickets will not be sold and can only be obtained through the various Archdiocese in New York State and their parishes. There will be no tickets available through any other means.
New Yorkers should be aware that ticketing scams are not rare, and include previously used tickets, resale of lost or stolen tickets, online auction fraud, counterfeiting, tickets for non-existent events, fictitious tickets, and fake web sites. Scammers tend to victimize those dedicated New Yorkers who will spend generously to attend certain events. With their enthusiasm to obtain admittance to the event of choice, consumers fail to take safety precautions, and fall victim to scams.
The New York Department of State’s Division of Consumer Protection is advising the public to follow these tips to avoid becoming a victim:
- Check the validity of the Source: Always investigate the ticket source. If you obtain a ticket from an unverifiable source, you are taking a risk.
- Avoid clicking on links from unsolicited offers or unknown sources: These messages may direct you to mirror websites, sites that have a similar look as the legitimate site and pretends to perform the actions of the legitimate site. Mirror sites will try to obtain personal financial information that can further harm you and your credit.
- Don’t wire transfer any money or payment: If someone asks you to send money via a wire service, that person is most likely a scammer.
- Don’t fall for high-pressure tactics: The first line of defense against getting victimized is to remain calm and avoid pressure tactics. Scammers always try to hurry their victims into making a decision.
For more information on the Pope’s visit, go to www.popefrancisnyc.org. To report a scam or file a consumer complaint, contact the New York State Department of State’s Division of Consumer Protection at 518-474-8583 or visit www.dos.ny.gov/consumerprotection.