While Gumtree can be a handy avenue for punters looking to get tickets to their favourite events, users have been warned of a serial ticket scammer who could be out to dupe them. Using the name “Alex Ferrero”, the alleged scam artist has reportedly conned unsuspecting punters out of thousands of dollars.
As News Limited reports, the Enmore Theatre has confirmed that up to 100 would-be punters arrived at the famed Syndey venue on Tuesday night eager to see UK indie outfit Alt-J, but were left out in the cold after finding that the barcodes on their tickets, which they purchased on Gumtree, would not scan.
It was soon discovered that they had been sold copies of two apparently legitimate printable PDF tickets, which Ferrero claimed were purchased by a friend. As tickets can only be put through a venue’s scanning system once, the tickets, some of which were purchased for up to $200, were effectively useless.
Carla Wainer, 27, said she collected her tickets from Fererro in person, saying that he seemed like a “really friendly guy”. The News Limited staffer added, “I was a bit sceptical about buying tickets off Gumtree… The fact that we met up, he let me take a photo of his ID and forwarded me the original email from Ticketek that his friend had apparently bought for him, made me think it was legitimate.”
“Once ours didn’t scan, we went to the box office to find out that there were already bunches of people with the same seller’s name on their PDF tickets, making us feel robbed, violated and pretty stupid that we placed our trust in this guy,” said Ms Wainer’s boyfriend. “We saw at least 15 others in the same boat so that’s $1500 for Mr Alex Ferrero, and who knows how many more people after us he got.”
It’s not the first time that Ferrero has been the target of such claims. The alleged scammer has also been linked to bilking money out of hopeful Byron Bay Bluesfest fans. In an official Bluesfest forum, a user named Cam recalled how he purchased festival passes from “Alex Ferrero” and never received tickets.
With pages popping up on Gumtree’s official forum to warn other users of Alex Ferrero, claims are now surfacing that the scam artist sold bogus tickets to the stage production of The Lion King and to Listen Out festival. One Facebook user claimed Ferrero’s Lion King scam would have netted him $6,000.
A Gumtree spokesperson said that when purchasing tickets on a secondary market, “if a ticket listing sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” A police spokesperson has urged those who have been scammed to “attend a local police station, provide a statement and have them investigate the matter”.
Last month, Music Feeds reported on the arrest of a South Australian man, who allegedly produced and sold fake tickets to Justin Timberlake‘s Adelaide show. Police were notified about the scam from people who were turned away at the gate after purchasing the tickets via an online secondary market.
Photos: Alt-J, Grace – Melbourne, The Forum 06/10/14
Photos by Nikki Williams