Northland police are urging concert-goers to get their tickets from a valid source as they believe up to four Whangārei people are selling dodgy tickets on Facebook.
Detective Sergeant Josh Lautogo said the Whangarei Tactical Crime Unit was investigating a number of complaints of online fraud from victims around New Zealand.
"Numerous complaints have been received from victims who have bought tickets to events and concerts via Facebook.
"Once they have paid for these tickets the seller has cut all contact and the tickets have never been received. This has left these victims out of pocket for large sums of money," Lautogo said.
He said there were possibly four people selling the fake tickets on Facebook in Northland.
He advised people to be vigilant when purchasing items online and to always check the legitimacy of the item and the seller and, if in any doubt, to not make the purchase.
"Police take this very seriously because of the financial impact and losses people suffer are significant and we will investigate it to it's fullest," Lautogo said.
A 19-year-old woman who appeared in Whangarei District Court on Monday allegedly sold 28 tickets between December 2018 and April this year collecting $4380 for tickets that never existed.
The non-existent tickets were to concerts for Six60, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Fat Freddy's Drop, Billie Eilish, Bay Dreams, Touch Base, Post Malone and the Homegrown concert in Wellington.
Tacita Joyce, of Raumanga, faces 14 charges of accessing a computer system, namely Facebook and by deception obtained a pecuniary advantage. Joyce was remanded on bail until her next appearance on May 20.
Whangārei District Council community general manager Sandra Boardman also encouraged people to buy their event tickets directly from the ticketing agency contracted by the event promoter such as Ticketek or Ticketmaster.
"This can either be on line at the official ticket seller's website or from an outlet like the one we have set up at Te Manawa the Hub Information Centre in the Town Basin. This will ensure that the ticket you are buying is a genuine ticket rather than a fake and that the ticket can be tracked and reissued if lost," Boardman said.
"A fake ticket might not include all the information you need to be able to get into the event whereas the ones purchased direct from the Hub or official ticketing website will.
With a genuine ticket you should feel confident that you will be able to access the venue."
She said if people were buying from a reselling website like Viagogo, not only would people pay too much for the ticket but there was a chance the ticket would fail the electronic scanning system at the gate and they would be refused entry to the venue.
Another benefit to buying tickets at the Hub was it was open seven days a week, including public holidays.
It is not the first time a Whangārei woman has been arrested for operating a similar scam.
Lulu Amberlee Pou netted her almost $17,000 in a fake ticket scam when the 24-year-old created a number of fake Facebook identities and using Messenger promised people fake tickets to Rhythm and Vines, Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars and Macklemore concerts.
At least 49 victims paid $16,870 into Pou's account. Pou failed to deliver on her promise and left the keen concert-goers out of pocket with no tickets.
Pou pleaded guilty to 49 charges of obtaining by deception relating to a time period between August 2017 and June 2018.
If you believe you been a victim of such a scam, please contact Detective Sergeant Josh Lautogo at Whangarei Police station on 09 430 4500 or report it anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
For more information about online fraud and what to do to protect yourself visit https://tinyurl.com/yy2bs7o8