Having put up sold out signs a few months ago, and with its enviable, enormous lineup, there’s many that would still give an arm and a leg to get to Soundwave 2013, but a 21-year-old Sydney man has taken advantage of punters’ desires with an online ticket scam.

As the Sydney Morning Herald reports, Police arrested the scammer from Ingleburn for a duping fans into purchasing non-existent tickets to both the hard and heavy rock festival, as well as tickets to Swedish House Mafia’s forthcoming dates in Sydney and Melboure, and tickets to the AFL Grand Final last September.

Police report the 21-year-old con artist was selling tickets through online trading sites, pocketing between $200 and $800 per ticket over a period of 18 months, asking victims to deposit payment for the imaginary tickets into one of his three bank accounts, police say.

The scammer has been charged with 11 offences, including nine counts of dishonesty obtaining property by deception, and is currently on conditional bail until he faces Campbelltown Local Court on February 13.

Police are still on the hunt for ticket buyers who have been burnt by the scam, and perhaps don’t even know they have purchased fake tickets.

“We have identified nine people so far, and detectives are appealing to the public for any further information in relation to the matter,” Detective Chief Inspector Mark Brett from Macquarie Fields Local Area said.

John Curtin, spokesman for Totem OneLove, the promoters of the sold Swedish House Mafia Sydney concert, said there had been “five to 10” cases of  ticket scamming incidents for the February 2nd show – which sold out in just two and a half hours. “It’s getting more prevalent,” Curtin said. “Events are getting more and more popular so we are getting to the point where we are working really closely with the ticketing agencies to really try and stamp it out.”

“I would never suggest to buy tickets from Gumtree or eBay because… you don’t know whether it’s legitimate or not.” – John Curtin, Totem OneLove

“I would never suggest to buy tickets from Gumtree or eBay because… you don’t know whether it’s legitimate or not,” he said, adding that the rise of the use of electronic tickets makes it increasingly hard to track the sale and point of purchase for ticketing.

A spokesperson for Consumer Affairs Victoria said that people who had been scammed by fake tickets would find it increasingly hard to get their money back.
“If you can’t contact that person or they refuse to pass on the refund, you will need to take legal action to recover your money.”

Over in the UK, a trial has begun for a similar scamming operation – though on a much larger scale – involving a faked ticketing company that conned $AU 3.6 million from duped ticket buyers to concerts by Kings of Leon, Paul McCartney, and Jay-Z, reports The Music Network

Operating between November 2009 and October 2010 under the name Good Time Entertainment, Gary Agar (44), Andre Lagan (49), and David Rolls (48) sold illegitimate tickets to artists’ shows at V Festival, T In The Park, and Spain’s Benicassim Festival.

Middlesex’s Harrow Crown Court heard from prosecutor Toby Fitzgerald that the trio were pocking the profits and depositing them in offshore accounts. “They created 100% profit for themselves because they took the money without providing anything in return,” said Mr Fitzgerald. “There was no trade involved, it was simply a deception of members of the public.”

Lagan, Rolls, and Agar have been charged with conspiracy to defraud and converting or transferring criminal property, their scheme blown after the company who handled the ticketing purchases, First Data International, began receiving complaints from ticket buyers’ credit and debit card holders.

The latest scam follows on from two in late 2012, when in October a London man used a fake ticketing website to scam over $6 million from imaginary tickets to high-profile concerts and major sporting events, and another 46-year-old woman from Stockport in Greater Manchester pleaded guilty to falsely advertised tickets on eBay for a sold-out George Michael tour to fund her gambling addiction.

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