Whether it’s concerts, festivals or sports, there has been no shortage of popular events on offer in recent times. Spring has just rolled in which means footy finals season is in full swing. The upcoming summer months also bring in a host of festivals and popular international artists heading to our shores.

With the pandemic forcing a hiatus on these events in recent years, Australians are making up for lost time and the appetite for these events is higher than ever. As seen with recent and upcoming popular events such as Taylor Swift and the Matilda’s FIFA World Cup games, tickets are being snapped up in quick time, with many missing out and desperate to get their hands on tickets by any means. However, with this surge in interest, scammers are also seizing the opportunity to cash in.

How ticket sale scams work

Unauthorised ticket sellers, commonly known as scalpers, employ sophisticated tactics to buy tickets in bulk once tickets go on sale. They will then attempt to re-sell these tickets at a higher price through various platforms, such as Viagogo, Ticketmaster Resale or eBay.

Scammers also employ deceptive methods such as creating fake ticketing websites or orchestrating email scams. These fraudulent schemes may falsely claim to offer tickets through a lottery or competition, with the scammers requesting additional payments or personal information to secure the tickets.

Scammers can set up fake Facebook profiles, join fan pages or community marketplaces and target people looking for tickets. They may either post or directly contact consumers to advise they have tickets available for sale. Scammers may also respond to social media posts from buyers looking to obtain tickets to a major event.

Ticket agencies and sporting bodies warn that tickets can be cancelled without refund if they are found to be fake or advertised at an inflated cost. So buyers should be aware as you might end up purchasing a fake ticket or end up paying way more that its worth, only to have it cancelled.

 
Image source: Scamwatch

Tips for safe ticket purchasing

Australians are strongly encouraged to buy tickets only through authorised sellers to avoid the risk of ending up with fake tickets and being denied entry to the event. Here are some tips to follow when purchasing tickets:

  • Verify authorised sellers: Check the official website or social media page of the promoter, venue, sporting club or performer appearing at the event for information on authorised ticket sellers.
  • Official ticket resellers: Determine if there is an official ticket reseller for the event you wish to attend. These are often used if a buyer can no longer attend an event and sells the ticket back on an official platform, which then becomes available to the public.
  • Top search results: Be cautious when the first online search result appears as the ticket seller. Ensure it's the authorised seller and not just a reseller who may have paid for the top spot.
  • Sale dates: Confirm the official ticket sale date. Tickets available before this date may be fake.
  • Website security: Purchase tickets only from secure websites. Avoid those with "http" in their address and exercise caution with sites starting with "https."
  • Payment process: During the payment process, be vigilant. If you're redirected to another website, do not proceed. Instead, contact the ticket company directly to confirm the correct process. Where possible, use platforms like Apple Pay, Google Pay and PayPal rather than paying by bank transfer. 

What to do if you have encountered a scam

If you come across any suspicious activity or encounter ticket scams, report them to the ticket selling platform. Additionally, consider reporting the incident to Scamwatch to help protect others from falling victim to these scams.

If you believe you may have been a victim or lost money to a scam, it’s important to notify your financial institution as soon as possible.

Australian Mutual Bank members can speak to our Fraud Team by calling 13 61 91 or by emailing info@australianmutual.bank.

For more advice on how to avoid scams and what to do if you or someone you know is a victim of a scam, see our Security Advice section or visit the Scamwatch website at www.scamwatch.gov.au.

By following these precautions, you can enjoy the upcoming events with peace of mind, knowing you've taken steps to safeguard yourself against ticket scams.

Sources:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-08-29/afl-finals-series-week-one-tickets-resale-scams-scalper-warning/102786792
https://www.accc.gov.au/consumers/buying-products-and-services/buying-tickets-to-events
https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/news-alerts/scam-alert-national-anti-scam-centre-warns-of-scams-targeting-matildas-fans

22 January 2024