With the sweltering heat in the GTA, heading down to amusement parks are summer traditions for many Canadians. But there’s been warnings that fraudsters are taking advantage of families looking for a day of fun in the sun.
Parks like Wet’n’Wild are reminding their customers to be on guard.
“Every once in a while, we’ll hear this story,” Steve Mayer, general manager of Wet’n’Wild Toronto, explained.
“We heard it last year, folks will buy third-party tickets or things like that, you hear about it and you try to educate them on that.”
The water park is scheduled to open this weekend but before the 2018 summer season starts, officials have issued a warning to customers on the Wet’n’Wild website, saying there’s been a high number of fake tickets offered online recently.
Mayer said the amusement park uses reliable technology to facilitate the sale and entry of customers.
However, if admission tickets are purchased through unauthorized third-party websites, Mayer said chances are you won’t get past the gates.
“People will generally buy tickets from a third party and they don’t necessarily know who it is,” he explained.
“Nowadays with everything being online and with paper tickets you print, you don’t know if that’s legitimate or if they just copied it.”
Toronto police also issued a stern warning ahead of the summer season, not only for fraudulent tickets sold for amusement parks, but also for major city attractions like the CN Tower and special events like concerts.
Police say social media is the biggest culprit where victims are usually scammed.
“There’s been numerous cases where people stating that they’ve been refused to amusement parks or special events,” Katrina Arrogante, a spokesperson for Toronto Police Service, said.
“With the summer coming up, and there’s a lot of issued tickets, we found there’s a lot of fraudulent ones that are out there.”
In 2016, the OPP issued a warning that fraudulent tickets for Canada’s Wonderland were being sold online, with investigators saying then the website wasn’t authorized and the tickets were invalid.
It’s an issue Wonderland says they’re continuing to address.
“Canada’s Wonderland is aware of the recent ticket fraud investigation by Toronto police, as we work proactively with local law enforcement to protect our guests,” park officials said in a statement.
“We advise people to purchase tickets to the park only through our official and authorized channels.”
Police have launched an investigation into the sale of fraudulent tickets, often on social media, saying if the price sounds too good, then it likely is.
“Make sure to go and purchase your tickets on a valid and authorized website,” Arrogante said.
Mayer also advises people to contact the amusement park if they are concerned about the validity of their tickets.