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Australian police urge fans to only use primary sites after fraudster arrested over Ed Sheeran ticketing scam

By | Published on Tuesday 20 March 2018

Ed Sheeran

Police in Australia have urged music fans to only buy tickets for concerts via approved primary sellers after a man in Brisbane was arrested for selling non-existent tickets to Ed Sheeran’s shows in the city.

The man, described as an “experienced scammer”, will appear in court next month over allegations he conned monies out of dozens of Sheeran’s fans by offering non-existent tickets for sale via an online ticket resale platform.

Queensland Police’s Detective Superintendent Terry Lawrence told reporters: “This is another clear example of buyer beware. I urge entertainment ticket buyers and all buyers of online products to keep control of their purchase. Only use the official authorised sellers and their platforms. Do not move away from those platforms to buy tickets or items, particularly if asked to. It is most likely you are being scammed”.

Although the ticket resale platform used by the scammer hasn’t been identified, Lawrence’s remarks put further pressure on the secondary ticketing sites, which have come under increased fire from authorities in various countries of late, including Australia.

The big secondary sites would probably argue that they provide some extra security for consumers when it comes to fraudsters selling fake or non-existent tickets, in that they pledge to refund monies if a customer doesn’t get a ticket or entry to a show. Though the message increasingly coming from police and government agencies is that consumers should only trust official primary sellers of tickets as identified on an artist’s website.

According to the Brisbane Times, Sheeran’s promoter in Australia, Frontier Touring, applauded the actions taken by Queensland Police against the scammer, while calling for new ticketing laws to protect fans. Meanwhile a rep for AEG Ogden, which operates the venue where Sheeran was appearing in the city, also urged fans to only use the official ticket seller, in this case Ticketek. The firm’s COO Rod Pilbeam added: “Any other sites offering tickets are bogus and probably operating fraudulently”.