scary face and hand behind red window

How to prevent ticketing fraud at your haunted attraction

Part 1: In-person transactions

Credit card scammers and online fraudsters get more clever every year. Any business can be susceptible to fraud, but haunted attractions are being increasingly targeted by scammers, making them vulnerable to fraud and transaction disputes which can create huge (and expensive) headaches for haunt owners. 

Ticketing fraud can happen online or in person, and each comes with its own sinister threats to your business. In this three-part series, we’ll cover how you can reduce ticketing fraud both online and in person, as well as how HauntPay reduces fraud at haunted attractions. 

Keep reading for tips to help reduce fraud at your haunted attraction in person. 

ticket booth

1. Scan tickets

Ticketing fraud isn’t limited to credit card hackers or professional scammers. Sometimes it’s as unexceptional as a guest printing off multiple copies of the same ticket for their friends, faking a hand stamp for entry, or bringing their own paper wristband to gain access to your event. If you’re using one of those old school admissions methods, you’re leaving your event vulnerable to fraud. 

Making sure people have valid tickets when they enter your event is one of the simplest ways to reduce ticketing fraud, and it’s also one of the most effective. Use a ticketing service that provides a unique barcode or QR code for each ticket you sell, and scan those tickets in as guests enter the event. The simple act of scanning tickets can deter would-be fraudsters from even attempting to scam you. Plus, scanning has the added benefit of providing you with data about which guests actually showed up at your event, so you can segment your audiences for more effective remarketing campaigns. 

If you’re especially concerned about fraud, you could also check IDs at the door to make sure the name on each guest’s ID matches the name on their ticket. 

2. Use a “chip” reader

You know that magnetic strip on the back of your credit card? Scammers love using those to create fraudulent copies of your information. And when a cardholder notices a fraudulent charge on their card, guess who ends up paying? The merchant. That’s you. 

You can dramatically reduce your haunt’s risk of credit card fraud by using a terminal that reads a card’s EMV or smart chip instead of the magnetic strip to process a transaction. Instead of swiping your card’s magnetic strip through the terminal, a guest inserts one end that has a smart chip and completes the purchase with a signature or by entering their PIN. It’s much more secure than an old school swiper which only reads the magnetic strip on cards. 

3. Accept tap-to-pay

Contactless cards experience among the lowest fraud rates of any type of payment. They use the same secure technology as EMV chips, which means every contactless transaction includes a one-time use cryptographic code that prevents counterfeit fraud.

Tap-to-pay has the added benefit of being more convenient for guests. They don’t even need to take their card out of their wallet to complete a transaction, and they likely have their phone out or at least close at hand. If your haunt offers add-on experiences, upgrades, a midway or a merchandise shop, this can be especially useful in getting guests to spend more during their visit since it’s so easy for them to complete a purchase. 

4. Require a signature for in-person transactions

It’s popular these days for businesses to throw caution to the wind and allow purchases under a certain dollar amount to process without anything more than a card swipe or dip. That’s fine for multinational corporations, who don’t care about losing out on a $50 or $100 purchase now and then if the transaction is disputed. But are you comfortable with that risk? 

Requiring a signature with every credit card transaction can be useful in reducing fraud and disputes. It’s an extra step in the checkout process, but one that is relatively quick and painless for the customer. 

Decide what makes sense for your business, and take into account whether you’re in an especially high-risk area or have had experiences with disputed transactions in the past. If you’ve never had a fraudulent transaction before, or your dispute rate is extremely low, you may not need this extra step. However, if you’re concerned about getting hit with a bunch of disputed transactions this season, requiring a signature may be just the ammunition you need to win each of those disputes. 

(p.s. Did you know HauntPay automatically fights disputes and chargebacks for you! Schedule a demo to learn more about how we fight ticketing fraud so you don’t have to.)

5. Control employee access

No haunt owner wants to believe that their employees could be involved in a scam against their business, but it does happen. Sometimes it’s on a small scale, like giving unauthorized refunds to their friends who essentially gain free admission to your haunt. 

Make sure all employees have a login to their own profile on your ticket selling & scanning software. It’s a good practice to limit access to things like financial records on a need-to-know basis. That applies for selling and refunding tickets, too. Team members who are scanning folks in at the door probably don’t need to have sell/refund access. Use a ticketing platform that allows you to customize access for different employee positions. 

By assigning every employee their own login, you can better track down where something went wrong if you need to investigate a questionable transaction or refund.

6. Use HauntPay

We do everything we can to keep fraudsters away from your haunted attraction. In person, there’s no better system for lightning-fast scanning to secure access to your haunt. We’ve made it simple to control employee access and accept secure payment methods like chipped cards and tap-to-pay. Plus, we automatically fight any disputed transactions for you. So you don’t have to worry about gathering all the paperwork and records on your own. 

Online, we use a combination of state-of-the-art Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning systems to rank the risk level of every transaction in real-time, in combination with human review to catch fraudulent transactions and stop them in their tracks. Did we mention we do all this at ZERO cost to your haunt?

Learn more about how HauntPay can work for your haunted attraction by scheduling a demo today!