SINGAPORE: Singapore has become the go-to for big global musical acts in Southeast Asia, with the recent Coldplay shows, as well as the upcoming ones from Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift, Shinee, and Bruno Mars.
In light of this, the Singapore Police Force issued an advisory on Friday (Feb 2) against scams in the sale of concert tickets. “The Police would like to remind the public to be discerning online shoppers, especially when purchasing concert tickets from online third-party resellers,” for the upcoming popular musical acts this year.
The advisory says that at least S$1.1 million has been lost in concert ticket scams between January 2023 and January 2024, and at least 1,534 victims have fallen prey to fraudsters perpetrating these scams.
Concert tickets have been listed on online platforms, including Telegram, Carousell, X (formerly known as Twitter), Facebook, and Xiaohongshu, although the Police noted that the highest number of concert ticket scams for this month were sold on Telegram.
Individuals interested in purchasing tickets would send messages on these platforms but would be redirected to other messaging apps, usually WhatsApp, WeChat, or even Telegram itself, for arrangements to be made to purchase the ticket.
They would be asked to make payments via PayNow, bank transfers, or virtual credits such as iTunes cards.
However, transactions many times did not end there. The scammers would ask for additional payments, delay goods delivery, and/or become uncontactable.
Many scam victims, thinking they’ve already put down money for their purchases, add more payments in the hope of still receiving the tickets.
Some victims receive tickets only to find out when attending concerts that they are invalid.
“Do not purchase tickets from third-party resellers. Use ‘escrow’ payment options that protect buyers by releasing payment to the seller only upon delivery and avoid making advance payments or direct bank transfers as this method does not offer any protection to buyers.
Purchase only from authorised sellers and legitimate ticket marketplaces/resellers, such as Ticketmaster as such sites offer verification of tickets and guaranteed refunds if victims receive invalid tickets. Alternatively, request for physical tickets and only make payment after receiving tickets,” the Police said.
Everyone is advised to add the ScamShield App for protection against scam calls and SMSes, as well as to implement security features, including setting transaction limits for internet banking transactions, enabling Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) and Multifactor Authentication for banks and e-wallets.
The public can also check for scam signs through official sources such as the ScamShield WhatsApp bot @ https://go.gov.sg/scamshield-bot, calling the Anti-Scam Helpline on 1800-722-6688, or visiting www.scamalert.sg. /TISG
Read related: How to prevent being deceived by scammers