Taylor Swift ticket scam warning as mum’s present for daughter’s birthday ruined over fake £600 tickets

Taylor Swift performs on stage during her reputation Stadium Tour at Croke Park on June 16, 2018
Taylor Swift performs on stage during her reputation Stadium Tour at Croke Park on June 16, 2018 -Credit:Getty

The PSNI is urging desperate Taylor Swift fans not to hand out money for fake tickets for her upcoming Dublin concert after an NI mum was scammed out of £600 for the sold out gig over the weekend.

Belfast Live has spoken to two heartbroken families who forked out over £1,000 to scammers pretending to be friends on social media before being blocked by the account.

Sophisticated scammers are now able to hack Facebook and Instagram accounts of local people and post about selling tickets which don’t exist.

READ MORE: PSNI in Taylor Swift ticket fraud warning as almost £300k lost to scammers in NI

READ MORE: PSNI statement as scammers con public over fake concert tickets

Desperate fans who missed out on the Eras Tour tickets are lured in by the authenticity of the social media profile, which will later ask for money to be paid via apps like Revolut and Paypal, leaving them with no option to recover the money and no tickets.

One NI mum had told her eight-year-old daughter ahead of her birthday that she had been able to secure the tickets for the gigs at the end of June, before having her birthday ruined and her mum left out of pocket.

“A friend had seen a post on Facebook of her friend selling tickets and it all seemed very genuine,” the mum said.

“It turned out in the end that her friend’s Facebook page had been hacked. We lost £600 for the four tickets.

“She’s just gutted. The kids had been asking for these tickets for months and the fact we were able to tell her on her birthday they were going, they were so excited.

“Next thing I had to tell them that some bad person had stolen their money and didn’t give us the tickets for it.

“I feel awful as a parent and so awful for them. Money aside, it just hurts that they are missing out.

“It has put us into financial difficulty but for us our kids’ happiness is more important, I just feel so sorry for them.”

A 25-year-old woman who was also scammed out of £550 for Taylor Swift tickets last weekend said the audacious hackers even went on to ask for extra money for a ‘name change’ on the tickets from a Ticketmaster account. She said she had been trying to buy tickets for her two nieces, aged nine and eleven.

“I know this is so prominent at the minute so that’s why I was trying to be so careful,” the woman told us.

“I saw a post from a well-known local business owner so I just assumed it was going to be OK, but unfortunately it wasn't.

“The Facebook profile had been up and running for years and they had been posting regularly about their business. The messages all seemed very legitimate, they were asking for half the money before sending the rest.

“There was another photo sent through with stuff about a name change and I was a bit sceptical regarding that but because the photo of the information they sent looked so legitimate that I thought fair enough.

“Then I went through and sent the final payment on Revolut and got blocked by them.

“Because I had the name and business of the person, the police were able to go and speak to them and confirm that their account had been hacked. They hadn’t been able to access their account since a few weeks ago.

“I’ve always thought to myself, how do people get scammed and you must be so silly to fall for something like this but everything seemed so genuine.”

On advice for people who think they may be being scammed for fake tickets from people they may know, the mum said to try to speak to the person on the phone to verify their identity.

“It was the fact that they wouldn’t give me a phone number to do it through, it had to be done through Messenger,” she said.

“If they insist it is all done on Messenger, take it as a big hint. A genuine person would be happy to give you their phone number, especially with such a large amount of money changing hands.”

The PSNI said they were aware of a number of cases of people being scammed in a similar fashion for Taylor Swift tickets, and urged the public to be cautious when buying tickets from third parties.

The spokesperson said:"Not only does this type of fraud leave people out of pocket financially, but will also leave them left outside at the doors of concert venues. People think they’re getting the real deal only to find out the money they’ve shelled out is to someone who isn’t genuine."

“Police advise people to only buy tickets from legitimate, authorised ticket sellers and re-sellers as criminals will exploit the eagerness by fans to get their hands on tickets for a show or gig they really want to go to.

“We would also urge parents buying tickets for children and young adults going to a concert, and those who make a last-minute decision to go to a concert, to be really cautious when buying your ticket. Too often, we see reports of tickets that don’t materialise at all, or are just screenshots of genuine tickets that won’t get you any farther than the ticket barrier.”

"The safest way to ensure tickets bought are genuine is to purchase them from the authorised ticket seller or authorised re-seller. We'd also advise against buying tickets from other sources, such as third parties because you can never be sure of the validity and authenticity of the tickets.

“When purchasing a ticket from a reseller you should also check the re-sale or transfer policy for that concert, often there are strict policies regarding how tickets can be sold or transferred, breaching these can mean your ticket is invalid.”

For all the latest news, visit the Belfast Live homepage here and sign up to our daily newsletter here.