What do Paul McCartney, Sam Smith, Robbie Williams, and the Foo Fighters all have in common? It’s not a killer ensemble, but rather a way for criminals to make a killing.
There’s a lot of music heading to Australia and quite a bit on our shores right now, and criminals appear to be taking advantage the best way they know: ripping people off.
That’s the word from Australian bank NAB, which has added proactive alerts to its banking app and online banking service to attempt to thwart criminals before you part with money that could be going to a bunch of lies.
The issue at heart is with cheap tickets, specifically those to often-sold out concerts playing across the country. With the price of a ticket high and the availability of tickets low, scalpers become scammers across various online marketplaces, including Gumtree and Facebook.
Users of the NAB apps may find a real-time alert if a payment shows signs that it’s a scam, with some of the red flags including availability on social media, newly created social media profiles selling tickets, and a claim the ticket is legit because you’ll receive an email or screenshot of them. Just because you receive those images doesn’t mean you have the real thing, and those could be images from other websites or a proof of purchase from elsewhere.
In fact, similar red flags to other scams may also include suggesting payment via cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, which probably indicates that the ticket you’re buying isn’t legitimate at all.
And there’s even a risk that a friend you might be buying tickets from isn’t really your friend, as scammers employ phishing techniques to break into accounts, and using hacked accounts to sell fake tickets.
“Be extremely cautious about buying tickets online via social media,” said Laura Hartley, Manager at NAB for Security Advisory and Awareness.
“We’re hearing about criminals hacking social media profiles and selling bogus concert tickets to the account owner’s friends, who aren’t aware someone else is controlling the account,” she said.
“Even if it’s a friend you legitimately know, pick up the phone and talk to them directly before sending money.”
Australia has some pretty sizeable music acts on the way, too, with Foo Fighters in December, Taylor Swift and Queens of the Stone Age in February, while Paul McCartney finishes a local tour right about now. That means you can probably expect those names to pop up across marketplaces hawking tickets that are anything but legit.
If you are in the market for real tickets, be cautious about online sales on marketplaces and check with friends in real life. While it’s possible you could get the real deal and end up seeing a concert in real life, the risk of a real scam is serious, too.