Fraudsters selling non-existent tickets to top concerts have now been put out of business following action by Wandsworth’s trading standards team.
A gang of online fraudsters have been using a Wandsworth Council-owned building as a bogus mailing address to trick hundreds of JLS and Coldplay fans into buying non-existent concert tickets.
The gang set up a string of websites promising tickets for acts such as JLS, Coldplay, Barry Manilow, Westlife, Il Divo and comedian Michael McIntyre at some of London’s best venues including the O2 Arena and managed to swindle around 1,900 people from all across the country.
They were caught after a woman from Aberdeen contacted bosses at the O2 because her JLS tickets had not arrived. Staff at the music venue then traced the gang’s “registered” address and tipped off trading standards.
Following the council’s investigation, all the websites have been shut down and action has been taken to stop the gang collecting any more money from unsuspecting victims.
They immediately identified the Internet Service Provider (ISP) hosting these sites and took swift action to have them shut down. Google were also contacted to make sure the websites were de-listed from the company’s search engines and also took steps to deactivate the online facilities the gang was using to process cash payments.
A sum of £40,000 was frozen before it could be collected by the gang members. This will now be used by credit card companies to reimburse customers who have lost out.
Chief trading standards officer Christopher Roe said: “As soon as we got wind of what was happening we were able to step in and put a stop to this unpleasant scam.Unfortunately a lot of people have paid money for tickets that are never going to arrive, but at least we have managed to stop the criminals pocketing all the cash and ensured that £40,000 is available to help pay back the victims.”
If you have been a victim to this kind of fraud you can report it to us.
For further information visit the Trading Standards Institute website.
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To report a fraud, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online fraud reporting tool.