New York, NY — Rosh Hashanah may not be on the radar for many Jews at this time of year, but that hasn’t deterred Temple Yawahna Bet’s Worship Committee from hiring ten new ushers, all of them former police officers with extensive HHSS (High Holiday Scam Squad) experience. Their mission: to minimize the scalping of Rosh Hashanah tickets, a rapidly growing problem, which ultimately forces the victims of the scam to pay significantly greater than retail prices to sit through High Holiday services.
No longer octogenarians, today’s typical High Holiday ticket scalper is young, agile and difficult to tackle.
In the past, keeping tabs on ticket scalpers required no special training. Offenders were generally the elderly, snowbirds who planned to depart for Florida to avoid the drudgery and deprivation of High Holiday services. As most people on fixed incomes, these seniors saw no ethical restriction against turning a small profit on tickets that would otherwise go unused.
The problem now is that these snowbirds are leaving for their winter homes even earlier than normal, well before the scalping season officially begins. As a result, they are enlisting the help of their children and grandchildren to scalp tickets. More often that not, these transactions are done during the final moments before services commence, when demand is highest. (more…)