The consumer watchdog has warned Aussie concert and festival-goers that they are being targeted by scammers on social media.
Australians have been cheated out of more than $101 million by scams just last year alone, according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Scamwatch website.
Scamwatch received more than 1,000 reports last year about ticket scams, with losses totalling more than $380,000.
Scammers posted messages on Facebook pages for sold-out shows claiming to have tickets for sale. But the tickets didn’t exist – and the Facebook profiles were fake.
“People should be cautious about purchasing tickets online through social media from people they don’t know,” said an ACCC spokesperson.
Co-founder of events company Astral People, Tom Huggett, told the ABC that fraudsters were targeting Facebook event pages with the words ‘SOLD OUT’ in the title.
Wollongong-based Jake Arndell lost $3,000 trying to purchase tickets to a sold-out New Years Eve festival on the event’s Facebook page.
While he had suspicions about the seller, he said he “wanted tickets so bad I was willing to trust this person”.
The seller appears to be part of a ring of fraudsters, with many similar profiles traced to Nigeria.
“If possible, try to purchase tickets through an authorised or official seller,” the ACCC spokesperson said.
What does a scammer profile look like?
Here are some red flags that the Facebook seller is faking their profile, as reported by the ABC:
- Their Facebook profile was created very recently
- Their friends list is full of spam or porn accounts
- Their URL username is a string of numbers and letters
- They may have a stock image as their profile photo
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