They thought they'd be dancing all night long to Taylor Swift. Instead, the tickets were a scam

Jodi Nesbitt said she was duped out of $800 by a Facebook scammer using a hacked account to sell Taylor Swift tickets ahead of the star's Detroit shows in early June. She said she was looking for tickets for her granddaughter, Lilly who is a huge Taylor Swift fan.  (Jodi Nesbitt/CBC - image credit)
Jodi Nesbitt said she was duped out of $800 by a Facebook scammer using a hacked account to sell Taylor Swift tickets ahead of the star's Detroit shows in early June. She said she was looking for tickets for her granddaughter, Lilly who is a huge Taylor Swift fan. (Jodi Nesbitt/CBC - image credit)

A Windsor woman thought she'd be dancing all night long to Taylor Swift with her granddaughter at the star's sold-out Detroit concerts this weekend.

Instead, Jodi Nesbitt now has bad blood with an online scammer who duped her out of $800 for tickets that never materialized.

Nesbitt thought she, like many others, was out of luck when she couldn't get Taylor Swift tickets when they first went on sale — until a Facebook friend posted they had four extra tickets for sale.

"I messaged her and just said are these tickets still available?," Nesbitt said. "She proceeded to say, 'Hi Jodi, how are you doing? How's the family?

"It was definitely a conversation that we would have."

The person behind the account told Nesbitt they had four tickets at $400 Canadian dollars each. After a bit of back and forth, Nesbitt sent the money by e-transfer. She planned to take her eight-year-old granddaughter Lilly, a huge Taylor Swift fan, for her first real concert.

Long story short, the Facebook account had been hacked and Nesbitt was actually speaking with a scammer.

CBC has viewed screenshots of Nesbitt's exchange with the account.

Nesbitt said she started to worry when the scammer wouldn't answer a personal question Nesbitt asked, or when Nesbitt couldn't reach her friend over the phone.

A second friend, also trying to secure Swift tickets from the same seller, couldn't get her bank to complete the e-transfer: Nesbitt later learned it was because her friend's bank had flagged the email as fraudulent, something she now wishes her bank had done.

AP Photo/George Walker IV
AP Photo/George Walker IV

"There was a lot of back and forth to make me feel very comfortable with the person I thought I was communicating with," Nesbitt said.

"I'm embarrassed that I would even think to spend that much on concert tickets but I really believed that it was something for Lilly that would be a lifetime memory."

Nesbitt said she eventually made contact with the friend whose account the scammer had used. The friend had been off Facebook for years, and was aware the account had been compromised, but hadn't had any luck getting the platform to shut it down.

Now, Nesbitt said she's also reporting the account as fake, after seeing the alleged scammer trying to dupe people for Taylor Swift tickets in other community groups. She's reported the incident to police and her bank is investigating, she added.

WATCH: U.S. Senate grills Ticketmaster over Taylor Swift presale fiasco

Taylor Swift will bring her The Eras Tour, featuring songs from each of her 10 albums, to Detroit for two shows at Ford Field this weekend. The tour, which kicked off in March, has 52 U.S. dates — with no shows currently announced for Canada.

Ticket scams pick up around high-demand shows: Experts

Nesbitt says she's normally extremely cautious with online sales and avoids Facebook marketplace and Kijiji. She's speaking out to help other people avoid the same mistake.

"When this happened, Lilly was so shook up," Nesbitt said. "She said, 'I'm not as upset about not seeing Taylor as I am that there's so many bad people that would do this' …I said to her, 'but maybe this is our lesson. Maybe this is our lesson, so that nothing bad ever happens to you.'

"She wanted me to share it with anybody because she didn't want this to happen to another person."

LISTEN: CBC Yukon's Maria Tobin explains why she made the trek to Nashville to see Taylor Swift in concert.

Fraud and scam experts say they know these types of scams all too well.

"We find that scams arise out of that desperation to get that much desired item, and so scammers take advantage of that," said Jennifer Matthews, CEO of the Better Business Bureau for western Ontario.

"Although you are so full of excitement about seeing something that is technically unavailable being suddenly available, it's in that moment of excitement and rush to make the purchase that people will fall victim to a scam."

Matthews said the BBB hears more about ticket scams anytime there are high-demand tickets in limited quantities, from Taylor Swift to major sports finals.

There are a few things people can do to protect themselves. Buying from an accredited ticket seller or well-known resale platform is one, and buying from someone you know personally — which Nesbitt thought she was — is another.

Ticket scams fall into three common types, said Mark Morgenstein, director of media relations for the U.S.-based Public Interest Research Group: Counterfeit tickets, real tickets sold multiple times (so attendees will show up and scan a barcode to find the tickets have already been redeemed) and counterfeit websites, which exist to gain a person's credit card information.

"The internet as we know it can be a wonderful place. It can also be a very dangerous place. Don't let your excitement about going to a concert or sporting event for that matter cloud your judgment."

Using accredited resale platforms, avoiding buying from people you don't know, and being wary of too-good-to-be-true prices can all help you avoid a scam.

If you were one of the lucky ones, never post a picture of your ticket online, Morgenstein said: Scammers can hijack the barcode from your photo.

"Given the cost of tickets to something like Taylor Swift, or a Tigers game or Pistons game or a Maple Leafs or Blue Jays or Raptors game for that matter ... Better to be safe than sorry," he said.

"If you don't go to the show, you don't go to the show. But if you don't go to the show and you've lost $1,000, it's just going to make it sting that much more."

How to protect yourself when buying concert and event tickets

Here are a few tips from the experts to make sure you're buying the real-deal tickets:

  • Try to buy when tickets first go on sale. Experts say that's not always possible, especially for high-demand events. But you should also watch out for special pre-sale tickets — for instance if you're a "verified fan" on Ticketmaster or ticket sales for specific credit card holders, Morgenstein said.

  • Check that ticket numbers and sections actually exist at the venue your show is at, Morgenstein says. Tickets in section 161 at a venue with sections numbered up to 160 are a red flag.

  • Search the name and email address of the seller with the words "scam" or "fraud" to see what shows up

  • If you're using a resale platform, check their consumer protection policies and have them in writing. Will they offer a full refund, or new tickets, if yours are fraudulent?

  • Double check all web addresses and URLs  — accidental typos can send you to completely new or fraudulent websites, Morgenstein says.

  • Unless you know the seller personally, avoid sending money with person-to-person platforms like e-transfers or. Try to avoid buying from unknown people on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist.

  • Take a breath. Scammers prey on a sense of urgency, Matthews said. Take the time to do due diligence. You may not end up getting the tickets, but you'll still have your cash.

  • As always, if it's too good to be true, it likely is.