How not to get scammed buying tickets for “Hamilton” in Denver, and how the DCPA fights the scammers

Don’t get Scamiltoned.

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Solea Pfeiffer, Emmy Raver-Lampman and Amber Iman as the Schuyler sisters in the "Hamilton" National Tour. (Photo: Joan Marcus)

Solea Pfeiffer, Emmy Raver-Lampman and Amber Iman as the Schuyler sisters in the "Hamilton" National Tour. (Photo: Joan Marcus)

Tickets to see the touring production of “Hamilton” in Denver go on sale Jan. 22.

On Jan. 10, I found a post on my neighborhood Nextdoor that worried me: “Hamilton for mountain house!”

A woman was searching for “Hamilton” tickets so she could take her son, a super fan. She offered to pay full price and add in a weekend at her Breckenridge home for “anyone who is willing to give-up their ticket.”

Of course, no one has tickets yet, and anyone who led her to believe so is either mistaken or lying.

There’s a lot of that going around, and this isn’t the first time the Denver Center for Performing Arts has seen it.

“Unfortunately, I think there’s a ton of those stories out there,” said John Ekeberg, executive director for the Broadway and Cabaret divisions at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. “It’s really sad when you hear these stories of people who … didn’t realize they were buying from the secondary market and spent way more money than they want to spend or, worst-case scenario, they bought a fraudulent ticket. That’s really heartbreaking.”

The DCPA takes steps to prevent thisThough they can’t reveal specifics that would provide a roadmap for anyone trying to beat the system, Yovani Pina, vice president of information technology, said there are “systems and processes outside of our ticketing system that we pull into play when we have a larger blockbuster sale.”

Under certain circumstances, like this one, they don’t even issue online tickets. Sending them by snail mail allows the DCPA time to review orders and potentially catch anything shady. It’s also more difficult to replicate tickets when they’re being sent by mail, Pina said, particularly if a scammer is using a bot to scrape the ticket sales site for details.

But some of this comes down to the person buying the tickets, so here are a few tips from Pina that will help you avoid getting scammed on “Hamilton” tickets — or, if you will, Scamiltoned. (I’m so sorry, please don’t leave.)

  1. Know where you’re buying from. The only place authorized to sell tickets for a DCPA show is denvercerter.org. In this case, you’ll want hamilton.denvercenter.org.
    “As a consumer, if you’re not on our website, stop. Do not pass go,” Pina said. 
  2. Check the price. If the price seems way too high, you’re probably in the wrong place. If you’re getting it directly from the DCPA, it should be $75 to $165. Some premium seats will be $545.
  3. If you are getting tickets secondhand, make sure the ticket is complete. You should see section, row and seat numbers. A bot, for example, might only produce one of those numbers on a fake ticket. You should also the see the correct price you’re paying.
Mathenee Treco, Jordan Donica, Ruben J. Carbajal and Michael Luwoye in the "Hamilton" National Tour (Photo: Joan Marcus)

Mathenee Treco, Jordan Donica, Ruben J. Carbajal and Michael Luwoye in the "Hamilton" National Tour (Photo: Joan Marcus)

And, as a bonus, here are some tips from Ekeberg for game time:

  1. “This may sound really simple, but be prepared to have all the information in front of (you), have the credit card out.”
  2.  If you’ve purchased tickets from denvercenter.org before, make sure you know your username and password.
  3.  If you haven’t purchased tickets from denvercenter.org before, create an account in advance.

The big moment is at 10 a.m. Monday. One person can purchase up to four tickets. There will be a lottery for 40 $10 orchestra seats for each performance.

Tickets will be mailed the week of Feb. 12. You can choose day-of will call instead, in which case you’ll be able to pick up your tickets the at the box office one hour before the show. You can learn more here.

“Hamilton” is at the Buell Theatre, 1350 Curtis St., Feb. 27 through April 1.

(Now this is the part where I say the thing.) Do not throw away your shot.