San Diego Comic-Con is one of the most in-demand pop culture conventions in the world, with badges selling out each year in a matter of hours. As of this writing, the attendee badges for 2019 are already sold out.
If you want to go, at this point getting a badge is still possible if you know somebody who has a table in the exhibit hall and needs somebody to help them run it (and has an extra badge available), but even applications for press and industry professionals are already behind us.
Convention Goers Beware
That’s where our warning comes in: if somebody other than a vendor with a table can offer you an extra badge so you can come work at the convention, it’s probably fake. Scammers will try to sell you tickets on third party web sites like Craig’s List or eBay, hoping to snag the Comic-Con faithful, but these tickets are always always counterfeit. They will tell you they bought extra tickets and don’t need them, or bought a ticket and now can’t go. Neither of these things are true.
Names on Badges Can’t be Changed
Everything is done through the SDCC ticketing system. Badges are registered to a specific name and Comic-Con International does not allow third parties to alter the registration information on those badges. Nobody can offer you their badge. All they can do is get a refund on their own badge, but they have no ability to reassign theirs to you, and Comic-Con International has no mechanism for doing this.
There Are No Extra Badges
If someone claims that they are selling an extra badge, they are pretty much straight up lying. Comic-Con only allows one attendee ticket per person, meaning the so-called “extra badges” are illegitimate. They simply cannot exist.
Badges Are Non-Transferrable
The Better Business Bureau says that even if you do secure a legitimate badge from a re-seller, the badge was sold in violation of Comic-Con policy, which does not allow the transfer of tickets from one person to another. If Comic-Con figures out that you’re in possession of a resold badge, they’ll just cancel your badge and you’re out the money and stuck in San Diego with no access to the convention. If you have used your vacation time and gotten plane tickets and reservations, you are amply screweds.
Don’t Get Conned During the Con
Even if you have a legitimate badge for San Diego Comic-Con 2019, you can still be scammed.
Comic, movie and sports memorabilia is estimated to be a billion-dollar industry annually but experts estimate as much as 10-percent of those products are forged or fake. The FBI has previously stated more than half of all sports and celebrity signatures are forged and it’s hard to tell an authentic from a knockoff, especially for a consumer.
In general, while it’s possible to get a celebrity signature with a certificate of authenticity, the only real way to make sure the celebrity autograph you’re buying is authentic is to watch the celebrity create it with your own eyes.