Comic-Con - The Dark Side
Penned by Kat Rocha
With San Diego Comic-Con fast approaching, the Identity Theft Resource Center has put together a list of things convention goers and exhibitors can do to help stay safe from thieves and scammers.
SCALPERS - Getting tickets into San Diego Comic Con is extremely difficult even to seasoned patrons of the show. They go on sale months in advance and are usually sold out within the first hour. If you don't log on in time, or you have a slow connection, you are out of luck. When this happens, many people turn to scalpers to score the tickets they need.
Scalping SDCC tickets has become big business in the last few years. Tickets on eBay can be as high as $600 for the full weekend pass, and cost even more when sold on site. Going through a scalper can be risky. Yes there are those regular guys who can't go and are trying to get his money back. But, many are scam artists selling fake tickets. In 2010 two men in their twenties were convicted of selling fake 1day passes at $125 each. They were caught when two women couldn't get in to the show and told authorities.
Don't be fooled. Try other means. Sign up to volunteer at the show. Volunteering gets you a pass for the whole weekend and you only work a few hours a day. Your other option is to bypass the convention center entirely and enjoy what is going on throughout downtown San Diego. Many companies have started setting up gaming stations, movie theaters, art displays, professional talks and even carnivals outside of the convention because they know a lot of people aren't able to get in. And best of all, most of this other stuff is free.
PICK POCKETS - With so many people and such large crowds, pick pockets are everywhere. They especially go for backpacks or swag-bags filled with people's purchases. Keep an eye on your bags and avoid large crowded areas where there is little space between you and other people. Try to condense everything into one bag or put items in your backpack. Keep your wallet or bill fold in your pockets or some "hip pouch" that is close to your body.
If you brought personal identifying information with you to San Diego, such as a passport, social security card, green card, or anything other than a state ID or driver's license leave these items in your hotel safe. Do not bring them to the show.
If you find that your wallet, cell phone, or other items have been stolen file a police report as soon as you can. You can read about what to do for the items that were stolen on the Identity Theft Resource Center's Website.
TABLE THIEVES - Sellers and merchants have to be careful about thieves too. Besides merchandise being taken off the table, display items such as statues, comics, and even laptops and computer monitors have all been stolen in past years. Thieves also will look under the display tables for items they can easily grab such as backpacks, cashboxes, merchandise that isn't packed away, and anything else of value.
Keep all valuables inside your booth or table space. If you store product under the table, make sure it is in a box or something else that cannot be grabbed easily. If you are going to have electronic equipment on your table instead of behind it, make sure it is bolted or has a security strap to make it harder for somebody to pick it up and walk away with it. And always make sure to take all money and valuables with you when you leave at the end of the business day. Unless you are the very last person to leave the hall you never know who may decide to go through your booth when you aren't there.
Related story - http://www.10news.com/news/26291167/detail.html
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