Davenport police say ‘Quad Cities Taco Festival’ appears to be fake
DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - The Davenport Police Department and City of Davenport say they have received multiple inquiries an unconfirmed “Quad Cities Taco Festival.”
The event is listed on Facebook and states the festival will be held at 12 p.m. on September 27, 2020 through 12 a.m. on September 28, 2020 in Downtown Davenport.
The Facebook event is described as “The Quad Cities’ best TACOS in 1 major event!” and “over 50 tequilas to sample and of course margaritas and Mexican Beer, live Music, and More!”
Davenport police say they contacted the supposed event organizer who provided multiple vague locations for the event, one of which is not a real location and then promptly disconnected.
The Scott County Health Department says it also reached out to the supposed organizer and was provided a different location than what was provided to police.
No specific location for the event has been announced on the Facebook event.
Davenport city officials say they are the ones who provide permits for these types of events and say they have not received, issued or approved a permit for this festival as of Thursday, July 30.
The Scott County Health Department, who would also regulate this type of event, says it has only received a vague plan and an incomplete application.
The event claims that multiple local vendors will be participating. However, the Scott County Health Department says it has been in contact with many of the vendors listed as “attending” yet no vendors indicated that they have committed to the event.
The event also advertises alcohol, which means it would need to obtain a license from the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division. Police say no such license has been issued or applied for as of Thursday, July 30. According to police, these necessary permits require time to process and approve and the window for completing these applications is quickly coming to a close.
Police say fake festivals, events and ticket sales have become a part of a strategy for scammers.
The Davenport Police Department wants to remind the public to fully check out festivals, events and tickets before making any purchases. Police say consumers risk losing money and in some cases handing over credit cards and other personal information to scammers.
How to Spot a Fake Festival or Event
Always fully research event websites before purchasing. Make sure there is full disclosure of exact location and contact information. Scammers often use names that sound similar to those of real festivals.
Check for (working) contact information: Be sure the festival website has a phone number and email address.
What Can You Do?
If you have doubts, Google the name of the festival with the word “scam” after it to see if others have reported about the event.
Pay with a credit card: You can dispute the charges if the business doesn’t come through. Be wary of online sellers that don’t accept credit cards.
Look for secure sites: The website should begin with https (the extra “s” is for secure) and have a little lock symbol on the address bar.
Avoid tickets sold on Craigslist and other free online listings: Scammers are skilled at providing realistic tickets and fake receipts.
Check out third-party ticket sites at bbb.org before making purchases.
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