The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) Scamwatch says 273 people reported being scammed into buying fake Taylor Swift tickets on social media, with over $135,000 lost so far.
In NSW, 114 scams were reported and in Victoria 96 scam reports were made
Global superstar Taylor Swift will play concerts in Melbourne and Sydney in February
The scammers use hacked social media accounts to put up posts saying they can no longer attend the concert and want to sell their tickets
The reports are most prevalent in New South Wales, where 114 scams have been reported and more than $54,000 lost.
Victoria trails closely behind with 96 scam reports and over $53,000 lost.
Global superstar Taylor Swift will play concerts in Melbourne and Sydney in February this year, after more than four million people attempted to buy tickets in June last year.
According to Frontier Touring, all Australian resale tickets to the Eras Tour will be suppressed until a week before the gigs in an effort to clamp down on scalping.
But that hasn’t stopped scammers.
The National Anti-Scam Centre said the scammers were using hacked social media accounts to put up posts or send messages to friend lists which include a story about how they can no longer attend the concert and are wanting to sell their tickets at cost price.
These posts are sometimes posted in community groups or among friends and appear to be from a trusted source.
After the ticket is paid for, the contact disappears and the ticket never arrives.
Catriona Lowe in black glasses and a colourful jacket and scarf
ACCC deputy chair Catriona Lowe said scammers were taking advantage of young fans, desperate to get a ticket. (Supplied)
ACCC deputy chair Catriona Lowe says it is working with law enforcement to curb the surging scam.
“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,” Ms 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.”
Ms Lowe adds fans should “think twice” about resale tickets, even if it is from a friend or community page you trust.
“Be mindful that scammers have been hacking genuine accounts to appear legitimate and are tricking trusting friends or connections into buying Taylor Swift tickets that don’t exist,” she said.
How to avoid being scammed
The ACCC and Choice warn against purchasing tickets from resale websites who sometimes mark up tickets to concerts at illegally inflated prices and have also been susceptible to scam activity.
Taylor Swift performs during “The Eras Tour”.
More than four million people attempted to buy tickets for her Australian leg in June last year. (AP: Chris Pizzello)
In 2020, secondary ticketing platform Viagogo was fined $7 million in an Australian federal case brought by the ACCC for misleading consumers on the sale of live music and sporting tickets.
The punishment was upheld on appeal in 2022.
As a general rule, the ACCC doesn’t advise buying resale tickets through social media.
But if you are, it says you should independently contact the friend who is selling the tickets via a different channel to check it is legitimate.
Here’s some more tips from the ACCC:
Don’t feel pressured by a scammers’s false sense of urgency to buy immediately
Try to use platforms like Apple Pay, Google Pay and PayPal over a bank transfer
Contact your bank ASAP and report to Scamwatch if you do fall victim to a scam
Share your scam experience with friends and family
Social media needs better scam prevention
CHOICE campaigns and policy advisor Yelena Nam says social media platforms need to do more to prevent scams.
Didn’t manage to get Taylor Swift tickets? Here’s how to avoid getting scammed on a resale
The Victorian government says they’re on high alert for dodgy scammers selling tickets to Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour but there are other ways fans can protect themselves.
Blond woman in sparkly top points at camera against purple backdrop
“It’s disappointing that well-resourced tech companies continue to fail to detect, prevent and respond to scams exploiting weaknesses in their platforms,” Ms Nam said.
“The government must urgently force digital platforms to comply with strong, mandatory obligations to protect people from harm.
“At a minimum, digital platforms should be required to detect and prevent user accounts from being hacked by scammers and quickly restore affected user accounts to their owners. If these companies had effective measures in place, scammers would have a much harder time targeting victims.”
In June, the Victorian government announced it had declared Swift’s Melbourne dates a major event and will be protected by laws making it illegal to resell and advertise tickets at over 10 per cent of its original value.
New South Wales also outlawed tickets being sold for more than 10 per cent above the original value with fines of $110,000 for corporations and $22,000 for individuals.