Ticket scalpers are trying to sell non-existent tickets to 'The Lion King' in Springfield

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. If you plan on checking out the stage production of 'The Lion King' show in Springfield next year you need to know that there's a scam making the rounds.

Online scalpers are attempting to sell tickets that don't exist.

"Tickets are going fast! It's like well, no they're not because they're not on sale. They can't be selling tickets to the show because there aren't any," said Deb Gallion, Director of Marketing and Promotions for Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts.

Currently, there's only a select few who have a seat see the critically acclaimed show.

"You can buy them as a part of our season subscription. Those shows are created right now. But the other shows are not anywhere in a system, anywhere, that anyone can get to them and they're selling you tickets like they are," explained Gallion.

She said scalpers have evolved over time.

"It used to be more like people trying to sell tickets on the street. They call themselves 'third-party' sellers instead of scalpers but we call them scalpers."

Those scalpers target social media pages. They create event pages as a way to attract you to their websites. There, they offer you deals and promises of guarantees on seats that don't exist.

"The sites are selling tickets by what they are calling ticket brokers who are the people who actually attempt to get the tickets, set the prices and then sell them to these sites," she said.

If you look for deals through an online search engine, you'll likely run into those same scalpers.

"The people who have the ads have paid to put their stuff up at the top. Don't ever go to the first one or two things. Look down the list and find the real website," said Gallion.

You could end up with empty handed.

"You're really taking a risk. You're going to pay more money. You're buying tickets that you don't really know what you're buying. You're risking the fact that there will be some reason that your tickets won't work," she explained.

Gallion recommends buying the tickets directly from the venue's website or box office.

"When the tickets are on sale, we'll have them available to buy them at the real prices," she said.

Individual tickets for 'The Lion King' won't go on sale until fall 2018.

You can sign up for alerts on when the sale happens by visiting the Juanita K. Hammons Hall's website.