More than 200 fans turned away at Seattle concert due to fake tickets bought on StubHub, Vivid Seats

SEATTLE — Many fans spent hundreds of dollars to watch rising music star Laufey perform in Seattle, but after months of waiting, what was supposed to be a special night turned into a nightmare.

Fans told KIRO 7 News that hundreds of people were turned away at the front door of Paramount Theatre after being told they had purchased – what they initially believed to be legitimate – fake tickets through common secondary-seller websites.

Cathy Mallick purchased tickets back in December as a Christmas present for her daughter.

“We’re not inexperienced ticket buyers, and we got tricked,” she said.

Mallick said she purchased two tickets on StubHub for more than $400 on Dec. 8.

She dropped off her daughter at the Paramount Theatre in downtown Seattle to wait in line, however, her daughter texted her shortly after.

“They texted me and said, ‘Hey mom, the tickets don’t work,’” she said.

Mallick returned to the venue and spoke with the box office.

“Don’t worry about it. It’s StubHub. They’re legit. I have the tickets. 100% guaranteed,” she described what she had told her daughter. “We bought them on StubHub. I transferred from my StubHub account to my daughter’s StubHub account. It worked fine. It showed up with the little scanner thing that goes across the bar code. Looks totally legit.”

However, they weren’t legitimate. They were fake tickets.

“They (Paramount) told me if it wasn’t Ticketmaster, they’re not real,” Mallick said.

“Those tickets were scanned 20 minutes ago,” she described what Paramount told her.

Mallick said, “They (StubHub) sent me a survey while we were getting kicked out of the theater saying how was your experience with StubHub?”

And Mallick wasn’t the only victim.

“They (Paramount) said 280 people were turned away tonight,” she told KIRO 7 News.

“Now I feel like I don’t know what to trust because that was so legit. Everything along the way was StubHub, and there was no question. There was no flag.” She added, “How can we trust any reseller again. How do we check that it’s real?”

JoJo Santor also purchased tickets last December through StubHub to surprise his 14-year-old daughter, he said.

“We were a little bit in denial or shocked,” he said. “It was the first time that I experienced it with my daughter and in my entire lifetime.”

“I trust StubHub. I’ve been using that for quite a while. And never had this experience at all and I was really surprised about what had happened last night. It’s crazy,” he added.

Santor said he plans to reach out to StubHub and hopes to receive a full refund.

Mallick told KIRO 7 News that she has already reached out to StubHub about her tickets, and she’s currently waiting for an email response.

Mallick said her family lost hundreds of dollars, in addition to the tickets, after they had purchased food, gas, and clothes for the event.

“I feel like they should do better than whole because we pushed out money for the outfit, the experience, the whole dinner, all of that and then just the disappointment,” she said.


KIRO 7 News spoke with Seattle Theatre Group (STG), which owns and operates the Paramount Theatre, to learn more about the alleged incident.

“We only heard about it at the time of the performance,” said Alvin Henry, chief marketing and communications officer for STG.

Henry said more than 200 fans were impacted Tuesday night.

STG does not work with secondary sellers, he added.

“What happened last night was basically fraud,” he said. “These secondary parties or vendors or scalpers provided tickets that were not valid tickets. We do not work with StubHub. StubHub is a secondary market.”

Henry said a number of fans impacted told them they had also purchased their tickets from other secondary-seller websites, including Vivid Seats.

This is a growing issue, he stressed to KIRO 7 News, and urged that changes at the state and federal level are needed.

“That’s why we need strong legislation at the federal and the state level so that we can protect the consumer from situations like this,” he said.

“They (people impacted) need to go back to StubHub or the secondary party and say these were fraud. I was not admitted to the performance or take it up specifically with the credit card company and challenge the charge,” he added.

Tickets for Tuesday’s show were available to the public on December 8, but were sold out that afternoon, Henry said.


KIRO 7 News checked out websites, including StubHub, and saw that hundreds of tickets are still being sold for the same artist later in the week. The website also indicates to customers that the company is backing every order and people can buy or sell tickets at 100% confidence.

We reached out to StubHub and Vivid Seats to understand if they will reimburse customers impacted, what measures they have in place to validate tickets before it hits the market, and their response.

A spokesperson for Vivid Seats shared the following statement:

“We are aware of the issue with a small number of fans whose expectations we were unable to meet. All of our tickets are backed by our 100% Buyer Guarantee and fans who were unable to attend a performance received a full refund, in addition to receiving a credit. In these rare instances, where our sellers are unable to meet the customer’s needs, the customer receives a full refund, and we are taking steps with the relevant sellers to prevent it from happening again.”

We are still waiting to hear back from StubHub.

KIRO 7 News also reached out to the Attorney General’s Office to see if the state is seeing similar incidents recently and in years past. We’re still waiting to hear back.

We also reached out to Laufey’s team to see if they are aware of the situation. We’re still waiting to hear back.