AEG Ogden, the leading venue management company in the Asia Pacific region, has applauded the Queensland Police Service action which has resulted in the arrest of a man alleged to have defrauded a number of people seeking tickets for next week’s Ed Sheeran concerts at Suncorp Stadium.
AEG Ogden’s Chief Operating Officer, Rod Pilbeam said the arrest was a timely warning about unauthorised ticket sales ahead of the Sheeran concerts.
“More than 100,000 tickets have been sold for next week’s concerts, however if they were not purchased through the authorised agent Ticketek, there could be cause for concern.
“Ticketholders who didn’t purchase through the authorised agent can contact Ticketek on 132 849 to check if their tickets will admit them to the concert.”
Mr. Pilbeam said the resale of entertainment and sports entry tickets at inflated prices, otherwise known as scalping, was a scourge perpetrated by greedy people against generally innocent fans.
“It’s a multi-million dollar industry that has attracted major criminal groups and tempted major companies to participate in the easy profits that flow from this deceit.
“Many of the transactions are based on fraudulent behaviour including the use of stolen credit cards, or through the misrepresentation of tickets being offered, including reselling them a number of times. In the former situation, we find out well prior to the event that the credit charge has been declined, and we cancel the ticket sale transaction which prevents the code on the tickets being admitted to the venue. When multiple copies of a ticket are presented, a number of would be patrons miss out on the event.
“The majority of scalping activity is carried on in a planned strategy that involves back room operators located all around the globe, first farming tickets from legitimate outlets by various means, and then putting them up for sale at highly inflated prices on ticket resale web sites that seem to the general public to be legitimate sources of tickets. These resale platforms take no interest in any way in verifying whether any of the tickets listed is legitimate. They simply charge large fees along the way from the seller to the buyer - often 25% and more of the eventual selling price.
“While we don’t know the details of the case surrounding this morning’s arrest in Brisbane, the statement issued by Queensland Police indicates that the man involved is suspected of exactly this activity, but has been caught by the Financial and Cyber Crime Group investigating computer hacking,” he said.
Mr. Pilbeam said Australia’s entertainment and sporting industries have been working for a number of years to raise the profile of this problem, while Live Performance Australia (concert industry’s peak body) is engaged with the ACCC in seeking tougher regulations to try and limit this illegal and immoral activity.
“We have recently stepped up our efforts in association with state police forces and consumer rights groups to make the public wiser about the traps that are out there on the internet.”
“Patrons should buy their tickets ONLY from the authorised ticket outlet. For Suncorp Stadium, the Brisbane Entertainment Centre and the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre this is Ticketek (www.ticketek.com.au). Any other sites offering tickets are bogus and probably operating fraudulently. Particularly, do NOT buy tickets from viaGogo which operates from Switzerland on events all around the world and is on international consumer protection authorities’ hit lists of criminally fraudulent activity on a massive scale.
“Intending patrons who are unsure of the legitimate ticket agent for other events should contact the venue of the event to ensure they purchase from the legitimate outlet or website,” he concluded.