Police issue online ticket scam warning to Swifties

ACCC issues warning about Taylor Swift ticket scam

Source: TND

A warning has been issued to Taylor Swift fans who – having missed out on tickets to her sold-out tour – are planning to gather outside her concerts.

Across the world, people have congregated outside stadiums to hear the US superstar’s music in a phenomenon known as “Taylor-gating”.

Swift will play three sold-out shows at the Melbourne Cricket Ground from February 16 and “Swifties” have been put on notice there will be no screens showing the concert or activations in the park surrounding the venue.

“We want to remind everyone of the use of the public space, which includes no consumption of alcohol in Yarra Park and no marquees, tents, infrastructure installed or BBQs taking place,” the Melbourne Cricket Club posted to X, formerly Twitter.

“This is really important to ensure the crowd can enter and exit the MCG safely and we can operate the accessibility parking area within Yarra Park.”

Victorian Premier Jacinta Allan said the city was expected to be packed on the weekend of Swift’s concerts and authorities were mindful of people gathering outside the MCG.

“Arrangements are being put in place to ensure that people who are going to the concert can move in and out of the MCG in a safe way,” Allan said on Wednesday.

“But also, too, for those who may be around the venue, to ensure that is being managed in an appropriately safe way.”

Swift fan Shona O’Brien, who will be at one of the concerts with her daughter, was worried extra crowds outside the stadium could hamper access for emergency services and fans who have disabilities.

“I am actually very concerned for everyone’s safety,” she said.

Others hoped the Melbourne City Council could set up an area near the stadium for fans who missed out on tickets, with food stalls and public toilets.

Elsewhere, police have issued a warning about scammers targeting fans by hacking social media profiles and using them to sell fake tickets to the victims’ friends.

The ruse involves advertising Eras Tour tickets at cost price, using a story pretending to explain why they can no longer attend.

Victorian police say they’re aware of at least 250 ticketing scams for the tour since it was announced last year. They believe fans have been duped out of more than $260,000.

The warning follows a similar message from the consumer watchdog a fortnight ago. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said there had been nearly 300 reports of people using compromised social media accounts to sell fake Swift tickets.

“The Eras Tour is the hottest ticket in town this summer and scammers are seizing the opportunity to dupe Australian Swifties looking to buy resale tickets,” ACCC deputy chair Catriona Lowe said.

“This scam is a low act, seeking to take advantage of fans, many of whom are young and are desperately trying to secure a ticket to make their dream of seeing Taylor Swift live come true.”

Victoria Police’s cybercrime squad said there had been more than 40 reports of the social media takeover scam since January 30.

Police said the ploy was designed to pressure fans into transferring their money.

As well as the ticket price, the scammers often ask the unsuspecting buyer to pay extra fees to change the name on the ticket. They send what they purport to be a screenshot of email confirmation of having bought the tickets, making the scam look more legitimate.

Once the cash transfer is done, the scam target is then blocked by the profile used to create the transaction.

Police said the safest way to buy tickets was from an authorised seller such as the Ticketek marketplace.

If fans did buy tickets advertised on social media, they should do their research and independently contact the friend whose profile was offering them for sale.

Buyers should also look for secure payment options and never give out credit card details.

-with AAP

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