Aussie Taylor Swift fans have sounded the alarm about a worrying scam in which hackers use stolen identities to swindle hopeful Swifties.
The ruthless scammers are taking advantage of rampant demand for tickets to the Australian leg of Swift’s Eras tour, selling fake tickets and robbing Aussies of their hard-earned cash.
First, the scammer hacks the Facebook account of an Australian. This makes the scam all the more cunning, because the victim believes their resale ticket is coming from someone they know and trust.
One Swift fan revealed details of the scam to 2GB radio, sharing how she was tricked.
Grace, a 20-year-old from Sydney, told host Ben Fordham she lost $1200 after seeing a “friend of a friend” selling four of the highly coveted tickets on Facebook.
“I messaged them and they sent a screenshot of the email confirmation of having bought these tickets. It had their name in it, it had the section of the tickets, it had four tickets,” she explained.
“None of my alarm bells were raised because that all looked above board to me.”
But as soon as Grace transferred $1200 to secure the tickets, the “friend” blocked her and cut off communication.
“I was like: ‘Oh God, this is ringing alarm bells now’,” she said.
Fearing the worst, Grace phoned up her friend and learned she wasn’t the only victim.
“When they finally answered they said, ‘Yeah, I’ve had six other calls like this today. My Facebook’s been hacked, that’s not me posting’,” Grace said.
The young fan called her bank but was told nothing could be done to get the cash back.
“They were sorry, but (said) I was just going to have to lose that money basically,” she explained.
A second fan, Yin, was another Aussie Swiftie who missed out on the expensive tickets when they went on sale in Australia in June.
Yin, like Grace, took to Facebook to find a ticket being sold second-hand.
“I came across a Facebook group that claimed to have no scammers and sell legitimate Taylor Swift tickets. And I fell for it,” she said, explaining how she was duped.
“There seemed to be so many people selling tickets. I thought they were legitimate people.”
Yin began talking to a seller who shared an email that appeared to confirm they owned a real ticket.
She forked out $300 to secure it, before the person said she needed to buy two. So, Yin handed over another $300, taking her total spend to $600.
“Then they … blocked me and deleted all their messages to erase their steps ,” Yin said.
Nick was yet another Swift fan who was scammed by a hacker masquerading as a Facebook friend.
After he made contact, the scammer offered various tickets and even asked Nick how his family was doing, feigning a personal connection.
Nick lost $600 to the scam after he transferred the funds and the hacker vanished.
Swift broke Ticketek records back in June as millions of fans anxiously fought to get their hands on tickets to the Eras tour when it lands in Sydney and Melbourne.
More than 4 million people — roughly a sixth of Australia’s population — logged onto the site to buy the tickets in a single day.
Frontier pre-sale tickets for both major cities sold out in a matter of hours.
“More than half a billion bot attempts were repelled — which come from scalpers — and a record breaking more than 4 million people across Sydney and Melbourne were trying to secure tickets,” a Ticketek spokesperson said.