As the Australian leg of Taylor Swift's Eras Tour gets closer by the day, Ticketek is under pressure from fans trying to get their tickets confirmed as some fall victim to scammers and suspected hackers.
Jacqueline Wen purchased two tickets on November 26 to Swift's Melbourne show through the Ticketek Marketplace platform, but they soon disappeared from her app without any explanation. Another young male fan from Perth who wishes to remain anonymous purchased tickets in June, 2023. Then, out of nowhere, he was sent an email from Ticketek confirming the tickets had been sold through the vendor's online Marketplace.
The two distraught Swifties, who were still trying to resolve their issues on Wednesday, are not alone. Fans have been coming forward with "missing" or "stolen" tickets following claims of hacking, issues with the app and a frustrating "lack" of customer support from Ticketek.
A Ticketek spokesperson told Yahoo their customer solutions team is working "around the clock" to assist customers with their Taylor Swift enquiries. "Unfortunately, our team are also dealing with thousands of queries that either relate to fraudulent tickets or other scams," they said.
Swift tickets 'disappear' from Ticketek accounts
After paying for her two tickets on Ticketek Marketplace, Jacqueline says she noticed she hadn't received a confirmation email despite the tickets appearing in her app at first. She emailed customer service but after no response, resorted to contacting them on Facebook to confirm her tickets. "There, a company staff member confirmed the transaction was successful," she said.
However after checking again a few weeks later, the tickets were no longer in her app. She tried to email, phone and Facebook message customer service with no response — even sending her bank statements as proof she paid for her tickets.
Ticketek believes staff kept in constant communication with Jacqueline, whose tickets were held due to her account needing to be properly verified, but Jacqueline argues this was not the case at all. "I was so annoyed and angry, I had no replies or updates," the fan said.
After Yahoo reached out to Ticketek about Jacqueline's case on Wednesday, her account was verified and she received two new Taylor Swift tickets in a different area of the stadium.
Apparent system glitches is not the only thing making Taylor Swift tickets go missing. Another Swiftie alleges their tickets were "stolen" straight from their account by a hacker. "The account was hacked with the email, password and bank details all changed on Ticketek," the fan told Yahoo News Australia. "The hacker sold them on the marketplace, taking the money or selling to themselves."
Since their tickets were stolen, the distressed fan — who is travelling interstate for the concert and has paid for flights and accommodation on top of the tickets — says he has spent countless hours trying to get through to Ticketek's inundated customer service team.
"There is a huge lack of customer support, it's non-existent," he complained. "The phone number has an automated voice telling you to go to frequently asked questions then hangs up."
At the time of writing, his issue had not been resolved.
Ticketek announce customer service pop ups
Ticketek exclusively revealed to Yahoo on Wednesday it is "committing significant resources" to support Taylor Swift fans.
"We're opening Customer Service pop-ups at each venue from the Wednesday prior to each show," a spokesperson said. "More specific details will be shared shortly."
Ticketing scams running rampant ahead of Eras Tour
Taylor Swift ticket scams have been catching people out across the country with some scammers targeting fans by hacking social media profiles and using them to sell fakes to the victim's friends, police warn.
Victoria Police say they're aware of at least 250 ticketing scams for the tour since it was announced last year — the total amount lost is more than $260,000.
Human information services expert at RMIT, Professor Lisa Given, told Yahoo this flurry of ticket scams is to be expected. "We definitely see this trend when we've got a major celebrity event — things where there are very few tickets and limited capacity to begin with," she said.
"These tickets are extremely expensive and there are lots of people clamouring for [them], so that's going to generally attract scammers because they think it's low-hanging fruit."
Given explains it is a challenging time because scammers are looking for loopholes or any kind of a break in the system that they could use as a way in. "I think, a phenomenon like Taylor Swift is going to put a lot of pressure on a company like Ticketek because they have many more people at the door trying to get in" she said.
"Something that could very well have been a legitimate glitch that someone got caught up in, there will immediately be scammers who think, 'Oh, maybe this is another way in'."
Ticketek shut down fake Marketplace scam
Ticketek confirmed its technology security team "successfully managed to shut down" a scam site claiming to be Ticketek’s Marketplace resale platform, and it is "constantly monitoring web and social channels to detect and remove any such sites".
"Unfortunately, these are indicative of the lengths unscrupulous fraudsters will go to capitalise on the Taylor phenomenon. We will continue to dedicate significant responses to ensure that real fans are protected," a spokesperson said.
Do you have a story tip? Email: email@example.com.