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Northern Ireland police arrest suspected Adele and Bieber ticket fraudster

By | Published on Tuesday 5 January 2016

Justin Bieber

Police in Northern Ireland last week made an arrest over an alleged online ticketing scam. It’s claimed that an unnamed man was selling counterfeit tickets to upcoming Adele and Justin Bieber concerts, the former in Belfast and the latter in Dublin.

It is thought that the fake tickets were being advertised on listings site Gumtree, though it’s not currently clear how many were sold. Police in the Northern Irish town of Strabane arrested the suspected fraudster, who was subsequently released on bail pending further enquiries.

Commenting on the investigation, Detective Inspector Lindsey Kitson told reporters: “As part of this ongoing investigation we want to ensure that we identify as many people as possible who may have been victims of this fraud”.

The officer added: “We believe tickets for the Justin Bieber and Adele concerts were offered in a group of four from the Gumtree website and a subsequent face to face transaction took place involving the exchange of money for fake tickets. I want to hear from anyone who has bought tickets for these concerts from a man after seeing an offer on Gumtree”.

Although more attention has been given of late to the issue of ticket touting, actual fraud also remains a problem in the ticketing domain, especially for in-demand events. The Society Of Ticket Agents & Retailers and Action Fraud recently published a report estimating that £1.3 million was lost to ticket fraud in the UK in the six months up to October last year.

Of course, the secondary ticketing websites often use the fraudsters as an argument against tighter regulation of touting, by arguing that if UK-based ticket resale sites are forced to introduce more rules, touts will switch to non-specialist listing sites, probably outside the UK, where the chances of people paying for fake tickets are higher.