TICKET scammers have begun to target entertainment venues in regional areas.
Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre (BMEC) manager Stephen Champion said there had been several instances of people paying astronomical prices for tickets to shows at the venue.
He said the first instance was the Jimmy Barnes show, held in April, 2018.
It occurred again for the Inland Sea of Sound festival, presented by BMEC and held at Mount Panorama at the end of November.
Mr Champion said someone paid $700 for a weekend pass to the festival after visiting the Viagogo website.
“A local person was overseas at the time and they wanted to buy a ticket,” he said.
“Viagogo tends to come up first in searches, they seem to have top ranking on Google.
“Fortunately we were able to contact the person who bought the ticket and sell one to them for 10 per cent of the price. And they were able to get their money back from the scammer.”
The problem reared its head again for last week’s Pseudo Echo show, where someone paid well above the $59 ticket price under the guise that it was the very last ticket available.
“They were selling that ticket for $400,” Mr Champion said.
The issue of ticket re-sellers is relatively new to regional venues, but has been common in major cities for some time.
“It’s those sort of headline artists,” Mr Champion said.
“It’s something that is always happening in capital cities with bigger international acts.”
He said increased populations and audiences in regional areas were likely playing a part in drawing the attention of scammers.
Tickets to events at BMEC are only valid if purchased through the venue’s ticketing system, and any tickets purchased through unauthorised re-sellers, such as Viagogo, will be cancelled.
Mr Champion said that the genuine ticket providers have guidelines to deal with the issue, so any patrons who fall victim to the scam will be asked to re-purchase their tickets through the venue.
They can then be provided with a letter to take to their bank to claim the original purchase as a scam and begin the process of getting their money back.
Mr Champion said people needed to be more cautious when looking for tickets.
“Don’t go through a third party, always buy direct from the venue,” he said.
“If you see inflated ticket prices, you should contact the venue.”