Are internet scams just a normal part of living in 2022, or should we do our best to avoid and eradicate them on sight? We’ve got a few tips outlined in this article to help you stay safe, like like “Only purchase tickets from promoters you can trust.” The last 10 years have seen the rise of companies who try to run events all over the nation, but it’s apparent that while the internet makes it easy to post events and sell tickets, you cannot put on a decent bar crawl from hundreds of miles away. Some of these companies are worse than just incompetent- they’re deceptive and outright scams. We had a recent run-in with a New York Based company called PubCrawls.com that seemed completely scammy & deceptive.
TRY THIS: GOOGLE “BAR CRAWL” and “SCAM”
You will find hundreds of articles, stories and posts about people who thought they were getting a quality event, only to feel scammed. Either the event didn’t even happen or it was a Fyre Fest-level shit show.
ALL of these stories will be about companies who post events in multiple cities all over the country- let’s call them Out of Town crawls.
None of these stories will be about local events. Because events put on by promoters who live in the town the event is in care. They are accountable. They actually know what bars they put on their maps and what your experience will be walking from one to the next.
CHECK BEFORE YOU PURCHASE
- Is the company located in the city the bar crawl is in? If not, that’s a RED FLAG
- Do they have a proven track record?
- Are they associated with the word “scam?”
- What is their BBB score?
- What do their Facebook “Reviews” or “Community” section look like?
COMPANIES IN FAR OFF CITIES PLAN HUNDREDS OF CRAWLS WITH NO PLAN
These companies use websites like Facebook and Eventbrite to post events they mark as barcrawls in cities all over the nation all in one day. Then as the dates get closer they don’t post a map, don’t list any bars and don’t seem to have done any work. Then when the date of the event arises they only list one or two bars, and it’s obvious that they put very little work into understanding the city because venues will be miles apart, and won’t even be aware they’ve been put on a bar crawl.
A company in New York or Minnesota can’t put on a real crawl in Reno
All you can really do from hundreds of miles away is sell tickets. It takes living in the area, understanding the community and the venues and knowing which bars are even suited for crawls. They don’t know the area, so bars will be too spread out.
As noted, many don’t confirm with bar owners. They just ask for involvement whoever whoever answers the phone or social media. Because they don’t get solid confirmation, on crawl day the bars don’t even know they’re on.
They don’t post many, if ANY bars or specials until the day of the event. When the day comes, crawlers end up confused, frustrated and feeling defrauded. Many contact us wanting to know what happened.
Another thing to note is that if they do return next year for another “crawl,” bars who worked with them the previous year don’t choose to be involved again.
BIG PROMISES, NO DELIVERY
- Claim to be big or biggest: NOPE
- Claim they will sell out: NOPE
- Claim lots of specials but end up with few bars & non existent specials
- Claim to be “5th annual” or Annual” but NOPE. Fake authenticity
- Claim to know all the BEST BARS in the area but don’t have any bars listed
SOME CRAWLS COPY THE TITLE AND TEXT FROM ESTABLISHED LOCAL CRAWLS
This happened with the company we mentioned earlier, PUBCRAWLS.COM. Crawl Reno has run the world renown annual Reno Zombie Crawl since 2008. PUBCRAWLS.COM literally lifted not only the name of our crawl but they also copied the text directly from our website and placed it in their event. This led to confusion in the marketplace that we believe had to be their intention.
Because these companies don’t live anywhere near where the crawl is being advertised, they don’t have to care whether someone has a good time or whether they even have a positive impact. They have your money and that’s all that counts.
Unfortunately the platforms they use don’t notice their scams so they face few consequences. So they continue putting on events that look like scams, have the effects of scams and leave people feeling scammed.
ONLY PURCHASE TICKETS OR CRAWL CUPS FROM LOCALLY BASED PROMOTERS
So, how can you avoid getting scammed? First off, ONLY spend your money on events from local promotors. Events like bar crawls depend on a deep understanding of the city the event is held in.
You need to know how to plan a safe map where bars are close together. You need to follow up with patrons, bar owners and other stakeholders in the city to find out what your impact was. You need to know the bar staff and what their impression of the event is. All this takes living in the city where you promote your crawls.
- Locals are invested
- You get a hold of a local
- Locals have a track record you can look up
NOTE: NONE OF OUR EVENTS ARE ON EVENTBRITE
We used to use Eventbrite and had a great experience. But over the years they’ve become flooded with out-of-state mass produced crawl companies. You can search for “crawl” on Eventbrite and find tons of events run by companies hundreds or thousands of miles away that promise a “big bar crawl” but have no bars listed.
If you’re looking for an Official Crawl Reno event, buy directly from our site. We use Afton Tickets instead BECAUSE they won’t let scammers on their platform. We met their owner and they impressed us because they refused to work with scammers.
WHY ARE SCAMMERS ATTRACTED TO EVENTBRITE?
Unfortunately it’s hard for Eventbrite to weed them out because they don’t always trigger their fraud detection. We hope they develop the policies needed to clean up their platform of all the scammer crawls. In the meantime though, we have noticed that they respond to trademark violations, so always report what you think might be a scam!
REMEMBER, ALWAYS SEEK OUT TRUSTED LOCAL EVENTS
A company based in the town where the event is held gives back to the community, they know the community and are accountable to the community. And HAPPY CRAWLING!