The West

Scammer cons desperate fans
High hopes dashed: Scammer conned fans desperate to see Bruce Springsteen. Picture: Lincoln Baker/The West Australian

Police are a hunting a man involved in a concert ticket scam, with the fraudster believed to have pocketed thousands of dollars from desperate WA fans chasing tickets to sold-out shows on websites such as Gumtree.

The fraudster, who has no fixed address, creates stories to trick would-be buyers into transferring money into his bank account for tickets that do not exist.

In one case, it is believed the man conned a young Rockingham One Direction fan for $1000 for tickets to the teen group's concert last year.

A Perth woman paid $720 for two tickets to the Rolling Stones concert next month after responding to the man's advertisement on Gumtree, but the tickets did not exist.

It is understood WA Police know the name of the fraudster and believe he has been scamming would-be concertgoers on Gumtree since 2010.

Police have told his victims the man allegedly scammed about 300 people across Australia. The figure could be higher because of the number of unreported incidents.

The man has told his victims that he lives in the Goldfields town of Norseman. It is not known if he lives in WA and it is believed he travels between caravan parks.

Ashly Evans, 27, paid $720 into the man's bank account for two tickets to the Rolling Stones concert as a present to her mother.

The man said he had "tongue pit" tickets for the Rolling Stones Adelaide concert and was going on a "road trip" there with friends, so no longer needed the Perth tickets.

"In hindsight, I feel pretty silly," Ms Evans said. "But at the time the story was so believable and I thought it would be a great present for my mum. I transferred the money and two days later I called but his phone was switched off."

WA Police said the man has conned Perth people for AFL tickets and entry to a Wiggles concert.

The scam is the dark side of a lucrative ticket black market emerging in Perth, with tickets to sold-out shows selling for more than 10 times their face value.

Tickets in the tongue pit for the Rolling Stones' Perth Arena show, which had a face value of $1300, were being advertised for $13,706 each on online site Viagogo. Other sellers were offering the tickets for $2112.

Tickets for US comedian Dave Chappelle's show this month, which sold out in seconds at $100 each, were on offer at $500 each.

The West Australian

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