It’s understandable to have concerns when a company like Ticketmaster asks for sensitive personal information like your Social Security Number (SSN). Your SSN is an important identifier used for various purposes, so you want to protect it and only share it when truly necessary.
In Ticketmaster’s case, there are a few legitimate reasons they may request your SSN:
Ticketmaster asks for SSNs primarily for identity verification purposes. When you want to purchase tickets for a high-demand event where tickets are likely to sell out quickly, Ticketmaster uses your SSN to confirm your identity. This prevents ticket brokers and scalpers from scooping up all the tickets and reselling them at inflated prices. By tying each ticket purchase to a specific SSN, it makes the process more fair for individual fans trying to buy tickets.
For some large ticket purchases or special events, Ticketmaster may do a soft credit check using your SSN to verify your creditworthiness. They want to make sure customers can actually afford the tickets they are trying to buy, especially for very expensive tickets. A soft credit check does not affect your credit score.
Your SSN helps Ticketmaster validate your identity and check for fraudulent activity. By matching your SSN against databases, they can make sure you are who you say you are. This prevents people from using fake identities or stolen credit cards to unlawfully purchase tickets. Proper identity verification ensures a more secure process.
Why SSN is Necessary for Ticketmaster
While disclosing your SSN always carries some risk, Ticketmaster needs it for the following important reasons:
High Demand Events
For concerts, games, and other events with extremely high demand and limited ticket supply, Ticketmaster has to get creative to ensure average fans have a fair shot at purchasing tickets before resellers snatch them up. Requiring SSNs for identity verification is an effective anti-scalping measure.
Avoid Duplicate Purchases
Having customers submit their SSNs allows Ticketmaster to track purchases and prevent the same person from buying an excessive number of tickets. This limits scalpers trying to buy up large quantities of tickets to resell at higher prices.
Limit Fraud and Abuse
SSNs allow Ticketmaster to monitor suspicious activity, trace purchases to specific individuals, and share data with law enforcement if necessary to catch and prevent fraudulent transactions. This helps minimize unlawful activities like credit card fraud.
Compliance with Venues
Certain venues require Ticketmaster to collect SSNs for ticket purchases as part of their policies. In these cases, Ticketmaster is contractually obligated to gather that customer data on the venue’s behalf.
Is it Safe to Provide Your SSN to Ticketmaster?
Given how essential your SSN is, it’s perfectly reasonable to have concerns about providing it to Ticketmaster or any other company online. However, Ticketmaster does take the following precautions to protect customers’ sensitive personal information:
When you submit data through Ticketmaster online, it is encrypted using industry-standard technology. This makes your SSN unreadable to outside parties during the transfer process.
Limited Employee Access
Only authorized Ticketmaster employees who need to access customer SSNs for verification purposes are granted that access. Employee access to customer data is limited and closely monitored.
Secure Data Storage
Once collected, customer SSNs and other personal data are stored on secure servers that are password-protected and equipped with firewalls to prevent hacking. Strict cybersecurity measures are followed.
Compliance with Laws
As a U.S. company, Ticketmaster must comply with all applicable data protection and privacy laws. They have legal obligations to safeguard customer data.
No Public Display
Unlike your name, email, or mailing address, Ticketmaster does NOT publicly display your SSN on receipts, invoices, or anywhere else. The number is kept highly confidential internally.
Best Practices for Sharing Your SSN
Whenever you do have to share your SSN, it is wise to follow these best practices to help protect your identity:
Ask Why it is Needed
Don’t be afraid to inquire how the company intends to use your SSN and confirm it will be properly secured. Ticketmaster should be able to explain the specific purpose.
Avoid Sharing Over the Phone
Provide your SSN online or in person only. Never disclose it verbally over the phone, as you cannot verify the true identity of the caller.
Look for Data Encryption
Only share your SSN on a secured website where data is encrypted. Look for “https” at the start of the URL and a lock icon. This indicates it is safe to submit sensitive info.
Monitor Your Credit Reports
Keep a close eye on your credit reports at AnnualCreditReport.com to ensure no suspicious activity after sharing your SSN. Act promptly if you see any warning signs of fraud.
Use Strong Passwords
Always use unique, complex passwords on your Ticketmaster account and email address to prevent unauthorized access that could expose your SSN. Enable two-factor authentication as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does Ticketmaster specifically need my SSN if I’m just buying concert tickets?
For high-demand concerts where tickets sell out fast, Ticketmaster uses SSNs to verify identities and limit how many tickets each person can buy. This is an anti-scalping measure to make ticket buying fairer for real fans versus resellers.
What law allows Ticketmaster to ask for my personal SSN?
There is no specific law granting Ticketmaster the right to collect SSNs. However, as a U.S. company, they must comply with privacy laws like GDPR and CCPA that allow consumers to share data voluntarily. Ticketmaster secures and protects all SSN data they collect.
Could I buy tickets anonymously without providing my SSN?
For extremely popular events that are likely to sell out in seconds, providing your SSN is probably unavoidable if you want to purchase tickets through Ticketmaster’s primary sales channels. But less popular events may not require it.
What if I suspect fraud or misuse of my SSN after sharing it with Ticketmaster?
Notify Ticketmaster immediately if you see any suspicious credit reports or other signs of fraud following an SSN disclosure. You can also place a fraud alert or credit freeze with the credit bureaus to protect your identity.
Does Ticketmaster ever sell or share collected SSNs with third parties?
Ticketmaster does not rent, sell, or share SSNs with external parties for marketing or any other purposes. Your SSN is used strictly in-house for identity verification and security measures when you purchase tickets.
While providing personal information like your SSN to an online ticket seller may feel risky, Ticketmaster does have legitimate business purposes for collecting it. Their identity and anti-fraud verification processes help make ticket buying safer and fairer for customers. As long as you take precautions like using secure connections and strong passwords, sharing your SSN specifically with a trusted, established company like Ticketmaster carries minimal risk. However, you should always remain vigilant about monitoring your credit reports and account activity for any signs of misuse of your SSN.