SG fans of South Korean rock band lose hundreds of dollars after buying dud concert tickets online

A screenshot of the text exchange (left) between Chong and the alleged scammer. — Photos: Screenshots courtesy of Chong Yoke Ming/ST/ANN

SINGAPORE: Public relations consultant Chong Yoke Ming was looking forward to seeing South Korean rock band Wave To Earth perform at Capitol Theatre but was refused entry and told his ticket was not valid.

Like him, about 30 other patrons were also turned away at the door on March 4, despite them holding tickets costing them about S$100 (RM352) each.

All of them had one thing in common: They bought their tickets on online marketplace Carousell and messaging platform Telegram from an unnamed seller, who was selling the same tickets to more than one person, as it turned out.

Chong, 30, first tried to buy tickets on the official sales portal TicketMelon on Dec 11, 2023, but was not successful.

He then heard from a friend that someone was looking to sell his tickets.

On Dec 29, Chong got in touch with the seller on Telegram and paid S$200 (RM704) for two tickets. The tickets, which cost S$140 (RM492) each on the official ticketing platform, were issued in a woman’s name, which did not raise alarm bells because the tickets were, after all, second-hand.

However, when Chong arrived at the 977-seat concert venue, he was told his tickets had already been validated, and he could not use them any more. He noticed that there were a group of people at the door who were also facing the same problem.

After speaking to some of the others who were denied entry, Chong realised that many of them had been conned into buying the tickets, which were issued in the name of the same woman.

Many of the victims, including about 20 others who had realised earlier that they had been cheated, became part of a Telegram group and discussed their options.

A few of the victims managed to contact the woman – whose name was on the tickets – through Instagram and other social media platforms, and confronted her about selling the same two tickets to more than one buyer.

However, the woman, a 22-year-old student who declined to be named, said she had sold her tickets to someone on Carousell, but she had no way of knowing that the buyer would go on to sell the same two tickets repeatedly to numerous buyers.

Speaking to The Straits Times, she said she felt “distressed and helpless” after the victims contacted her, and accused her of running a scam. She added that she lodged a police report almost immediately.

In response to queries, the police said investigations are ongoing.

One of the victims, an 18-year-old student who wanted to be known only as Dianah, said she bought the dud tickets using S$300 (RM1,056) of her savings, which she earned from a job stint at a warehouse during Chinese New Year.

Dianah said: “I bought the tickets as a surprise for my friend’s 18th birthday with my hard-earned money and was excited about the concert. I felt so disappointed when I found out I was scammed.”

Another victim, a 17-year-old student, said she managed to strike a deal with the scammer and paid S$230 (RM809) for a Category 1 ticket, which was going for S$250 (RM880) on Carousell. However, on the day of the concert, the seller did not show up at the venue to hand over the tickets, as agreed.

She said: “I was denied entry, and I was devastated. I sat at a designated area with the others who fell for the same scam.

“I felt like a gullible fool after losing S$230 (RM809), and wasted so much time, all because I trusted this scammer.”

This is the latest in a series of scams in Singapore involving concert tickets. The police are investigating 45 suspects for similar fraudulent activities, many of which are linked to the recently held Taylor Swift concerts. – The Straits Times (Singapore)/Asia News Network

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