Singapore: 37 victims form Telegram group to expose Taylor Swift ticket scammer…

Singapore: 37 victims form Telegram group to expose Taylor Swift ticket scammer...

 

SINGAPORE – A 19-year-old student who lost about $510 to a scam involving the sale of tickets to American singer Taylor Swift’s concerts on Carousell went online to see if there were other victims.

 

Singapore: 37 victims form Telegram group to expose Taylor Swift ticket scammer...

She was stunned when she and her friend, who had also been scammed, found a Telegram chat group called Taylor Swift Scammer with 35 people in it.

They said they had been duped by the same woman on online marketplace Carousell.

They shared screenshots of their interactions with the culprit, and many lodged police reports.

Sarah (not her real name), who just completed her A-level examinations, said she was desperate to see Swift perform in The Eras Tour at the National Stadium between March 2 and 9, as she has been a fan since she was five years old.

When Sarah and her friend could not get tickets on ticketing website Ticketmaster in July 2023, they scoured online platforms for sellers

Sarah, who currently works part-time in the banking industry, said: “My friend and I found a seller on Carousell who claimed she could guarantee us tickets. All we had to do was pay her the cost price of the tickets and $50 commission each.

“We agreed, and paid $50 each. She said she had some corporate connections that would get her the tickets, and my friend had purchased concert merchandise from her before, so we trusted her.”

The seller asked if they were “hardcore Taylor fans”, and if they wanted to top up around $460 each for a VIP4 ticket, which was sold on Ticketmaster for $528.

“It was quite a sum of money so we were hesitant at first. But we later agreed, as we really wanted to get good seats to see Taylor in concert,”recalled Sarah.

The pair’s transactions were made on Carousell before it suspended the sale of tickets to Swift’s concerts on its platform between Feb 23 and March 9, ahead of the star’s concert dates, to prevent users from being scammed.

Sarah said their troubles began once they paid the seller in July.

She said: “We would constantly ask if our tickets had arrived and where our seats were, but she would say our seats were not yet confirmed.”

Two weeks before the concert on March 9, the seller said she could not get the tickets. She then became uncontactable.

Sarah found another victim online who was allegedly scammed by the same seller, and the pair was added to the Telegram group that now has 37 members.

Said Sarah: “We exchanged screenshots of what the seller said to us, and we suspected we were all scammed by the same person. Many of us made police reports.”

There have been multiple reports made of e-commerce scams involving tickets to Swift’s concerts.

Screengrabs of a group chat on Telegram consisting of 37 victims of e-commerce scams involving tickets to Swift’s concerts. Photo: Sarah (not her real name)
On March 11, the police said a woman, 29, was arrested for allegedly cheating victims of more than $24,000 on the pretext of selling them such tickets.

The next day, Foo Mei Qi was charged with one count of cheating. She allegedly duped a woman into transferring $350 on Sept 13, 2023.

Sarah finally managed to get tickets from someone who could not make it to the concert, and watched Swift perform on March 7.

She said: “I’ve always known about concert ticket scams. But I just thought it would never happen to me. I will be more careful and not trust someone I don’t know.

“Next time, if I want to attend a concert, I’ll be sure to buy tickets only from the authorised site.”