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Scam Alert! I lost $618 buying fake Taylor Swift Eras Tour tickets

Taylor Swift's 2018 concert in Sydney
Taylor Swift's 2018 concert in Sydney

Desperate to get tickets for Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour? Don’t let those high emotions cloud your judgement and transfer money to someone you’ve never met, without first getting the tickets. Although being hyper aware of online scams, Founder Rachel Chappell was fooled into transferring hundreds of dollars for concert tickets that never appeared.

I’m sharing this experience as a cautionary tale. I realise that it makes me look foolish, but I want to share the story to ensure other Taylor Swift fans don’t fall prey to this common scam on Facebook.

Yesterday, a member of our North Shore Mums Facebook group submitted a post about selling four Taylor Swift tickets. We have a blanket ‘no sales posts‘ policy in the Facebook group, so we declined the post. However, my daughter is absolutely desperate to go to the concert and, despite spending three full days on Ticketek trying to get tickets, I’ve not yet succeeded in getting tickets.

I checked out her profile. She’d been a member of North Shore Mums since April 2016, and her Facebook profile page looked completely legitimate. Lots of photos & videos of her and her two young daughters, likes and comments from friends on her posts, and I had no reason to suspect that there was anything dodgy about her character.

Feeling assured, I sent her a message saying I might be interested in the tickets if she hadn’t already sold them. A couple of hours later, she replied with screenshots of the ticket confirmation and said she could quickly transfer the tickets to me via Ticketek – just needed my email and name to do the ticket transfer. She told me she was selling them due to a ‘family function’ that was shifted.

I knew that paying via PayPal is advised but, against my better judgement, I agreed to transfer half the money via bank transfer for the 4 tickets ($618) – then she would email me the tickets – and I’d pay the remaining amount once the tickets had been transferred.

I sent the receipt, and she assured me she’d transfer the tickets straight away.

Thirty minutes later, I told her that I hadn’t received them yet, and she said:

I’m about to transfer all 4 tickets now and it’s asking for name change fee which is just $75 each so that’s $300. Same bank details, and once done send me a screenshot and I will transfer tickets immediately.

It was at this point that the red flag was raised. I knew that this fee sounded unlikely, so googled Ticketek’s transfer fees, and could see nothing about a $75 per ticket fee.

I was feeling sick and foolish, but still hoping that it was just a misunderstanding. After telling me I didn’t think the $75 fee was correct, she replied with:

Trying to figure it out since it’s my first time doing something like this

I asked her to try transferring via mobile number, and that was the last I heard from ‘her’. Whoever she is.

I waited a couple more hours, hoping that she’d get back to me saying she’d had an emergency, and would send them now. But my messages have gone unanswered. At 3pm, I sent her a final message, saying:

Please prove me wrong. I have a sick feeling that I have been scammed. If you can please get the tickets to me by 5pm or refund the $618 to me – PayID is xxx. If I don’t get a reply then I’ll be going public to warn others…  

Needless to say, she never replied before 5pm.

I now know that I have been scammed, and I feel sick (and embarrassed) that I’ve allowed this to happen!

Click here to read the full Facebook Messenger transcript.

Reporting the scam to the bank

I called my bank and went through to the Fraud department. I told them my story, and the operator said it was a very common scam. He told me the vast majority of ticket posts on Facebook are scams. He instructed me to not engage with ‘her’ anymore. The transaction would be investigated, and they would advise in 4-6 weeks if the money can be returned. I’m not hopeful.

How did I get scammed by such a lovely looking trustworthy mum?

After doing a deep dive, one of the moderators found a Facebook post saying…

To the REAL Rachael Rb (Rachael Pejic)… I am so sorry you have been hacked and your Facebook profile is being used to take thousands of dollars from innocent Taylor Swift fans. You looked like such a lovely mum, which is why I trusted you, but someone else is now behind your profile and doing awful things. If you haven’t already, please report this to Facebook and please report it to the police.

What about the bank account?

The scammers are clever. The bank account provided was an ANZ account and they gave me an account name similar to the Facebook profile. However, on closer inspection, the surname in the URL is actually different.

  • Facebook Profile: Rachael Rb.
  • Bank account provided Rachael Roberts
  • URL of FB profile: facebook.com/rachael.pejic

When transferring money via bank transfer to another person, the name on the bank account field is actually irrelevant. It doesn’t get matched. It’s just the BSB and Account number that is used to make the transfer. Without knowing this at the time, the fact that the bank account matched her Facebook profile made it look more legitimate.

“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. Even if it’s a friend you legitimately know, pick up the phone and talk to them directly before sending money.” – Laura Hartley, NAB’s manager for security advisory and awareness, 

How to NOT get scammed for concert tickets

  • Do not let your excitement about getting those hot tickets cloud your better judgement and everything you’ve already learnt about scams!
  • Do not transfer money into the bank account of someone you don’t know, unless you have already received the item.
  • Only buy tickets from people you know in the real world, who you trust. But call them first, to check it is actually them selling (and their profile hasn’t been hacked)
  • NEVER buy tickets on Facebook from people you don’t know.
  • PayPal is said to be better at refunding scam money than banks… but best not to transfer to anyone you don’t know!
  • If you don’t have friends selling tickets, ONLY use official resellers like Ticketek Marketplace.

How to NOT get your Facebook profile hacked

You MUST be secure with your Facebook account.

  • Choose a 10-14 character password filled with numbers, letters and symbols. Do not use this password for any other application. Use a PassWord manager (like LastPass) to ensure you have unique, secure logins for everything.
  • Use 2-factor authentication to login to password. Yes, it’s an extra hassle, but it is worth it for the extra layer of security.

If you haven’t changed your password in a while, change it! Click here for lots of tips to keep your account secure from Facebook.

What happens next?

  • I’m reporting the scam to the police. This kind of fraud cannot be reported online or via the Police Assistance line, so you need to attend your local police station and report in person & complete a form.
  • I’m reporting the profile to Facebook. The ‘warning’ was posted over 2 months ago (7 Nov 2023) yet this account is STILL ACTIVE!
  • I’m reporting the scam online to ScamWatch and The Australian Signals Directorate’s Australian Cyber Security Centre.
  • I’m calling ANZ to see why the bank account is still open and no doubt other people are transferring money.
  • And I’m going to try and spread this message as far as I can to ensure nobody else gets robbed!

I blame Facebook for allowing this to happen

The Facebook profile was hacked in November 2023 – over two months ago – yet the profile is STILL active and no doubt sending these Taylor Swift ticket messages to hundreds of people. Why has Facebook not reviewed the profile and realised that it is being operated by someone else?

Please help get this profile shut down, and report it to Facebook.

How to report a Facebook profile

  • Go to the profile that you want to report by clicking its name in your Feed or searching for it.
  • Click more to the right and select Find support or report.
  • To give feedback, click the option that best describes how this profile goes against our Community Standards.
  • Depending on your feedback, you may then be able to submit a report to Meta. For some types of content, we don’t ask you to submit a report, but we use your feedback to help our systems learn. Click Done.

More information on Facebook here.

$618 transferred, no Taylor Swift tickets

I cannot believe that I was scammed into transferring money to a stranger for Taylor Swift tickets. I’m usually so alert to scams, but my emotions clouded my judgement, and this one just pulled me in so easily. I’m completely devastated that I’ve given $618 to a complete stranger, and have not been able to give my daughter the experience she has been dreaming about!

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