Ticket buyers are salty after ‘Crab Fest’ revealed to be scam

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Some folks are feeling a little "crabby" after buying a ticket for an event that will never happen.

They bought into an all-you-can-eat crab and chowder fest. But it turns out the event doesn't exist.

“Why they picked our building, I have no idea,” said Jeff Smith, the Executive Vice President, Asset Management for VanTrust Real Estate LLC.

That building he's referring to is Two Pershing Square near Pershing and Main street.

VanTrust Real Estate manages the property.

Smith says a tenant in the building was surprised by a phone call about an event called "Crab Fest."

“Somebody called them to cancel their tickets,” Smith added.

The ticket holder believed that the all-you can eat crab festival was to be held at the venue.

But those tickets never actually existed. Smith says the whole thing was a scam.

“Nobody knew anything about it, they contacted the management office, they knew nothing about, and that's when all the investigation started on the management company's side to find out that it's been posted on a number of community websites,” Smith said.

Smith says the management company contacted the police.

“They ended up finding out that it was a scam, had been happening at some other locations, other towns, cities, some other spots, then the issue was trying to get the word out,” adds Smith.

According to KCPD, there are many ways to avoid scams like this.

They say that before you buy tickets online, call the venue to verify the space is reserved for the advertised event. A quick internet search for the organizer is another way to verify its authenticity.

If you are looking to purchase a ticket to an event that you are questioning, ask if paying at the door is an option. Sometimes paying at the door is a couple extra bucks, but could save you from a scam.

Also, ask about a refund policy and a contact name and number should the event be canceled. Lastly, contact police to investigate if you are aware of a scam; they may be able to warn others.

“I am so sorry. There is no crab fest happening at this site,” Smith said. “We'll have staff there giving them phone numbers to the police consumer group. Just let them know, unfortunately, it's not happening.”