Falls fraudster scams up to 40 people
Monday 4.00pm: WHEN Maegan Lynch arrived at Falls Festival to celebrate New Year's Eve yesterday, she had no idea she was about to become a victim in a scam that may have claimed up to 40 people.
Ms Lynch bought the ticket for $300 two weeks ago from an online re-seller, but was told by staff at the festival gate her ticket was invalid.
She said it was a "risk you take" when you buy tickets online, but had been "buying tickets from Facebook for years and had never had this happen before".
She said from her conversations on Facebook, it seemed up to 40 people had been caught out by the one re-seller.
"A lot of people were refused entry yesterday," she said.
Ms Lynch said found a genuine seller and got tickets to the festival, but she would lose $300 if she doesn't get the money back.
She said she doesn't blame the Falls Festivals organisers for the fraud and knows it is not their responsibility, but hopes they will investigate how the fraud occurred. She also hoped they would consider introducing a resale facility.
"Splendour (in the Grass festival) has a resale facility and it works," she said. "And it works for a reason."
She said ticket box staff had been sympathetic when she realised she had been scammed, telling her how to report the fraud to police.
Ms Lynch said she won't let the fraudster ruin her festival, but once it finishes, she will be at the police station handing over details of the fraud and the identity of the person who she believes responsible.
"I'd like to see her prosecuted," she said.
Monday 12.39pm: PUNTERS have had their New Year's Eve celebrations ruined after they were turned away from Falls Festival after buying tickets online.
Falls Festival posted a warning about buying tickets to the sold-out event: "The Byron event is sold out. DO NOT purchase tickets from anyone you don't trust, we have unfortunately had people with fraudulent tickets present onsite that we have had to turn away".
In a statement, Falls organisers said: "We strongly discourage patrons purchasing from any unauthorized third-party sellers at inflated prices, we can't guarantee legitimacy of tickets purchased outside the Falls official platform. We will be scanning all tickets on arrival and you will not be granted entrance if the barcode has already been scanned. If you're buying from a trusted friend for the face value price of the ticket that is fine. Supply and demand drives this market, and it's legal. The law permits them to do so. We wish people wouldn't resell tickets for profit, but at the moment, there isn't any legal recourse to prevent this'.
"Falls Lorne and Byron sold out in record time this year. There is no official resale facility for The Falls Festival, with increasing demand we are investigating the viability of introducing one. Till then, we strongly discourage patrons purchasing from any unauthorized third-party sellers at inflated prices, we can't guarantee legitimacy of tickets purchased outside the Falls official platform. No tickets for Falls are issued until December 1st, we will be scanning all tickets on arrival and you will not be granted entrance if the barcode has already been scanned."
Comments on the post indicate numerous festival goers have been scammed by one online seller. They only found out their tickets were not genuine when presented at the gates.
Some had travelled a long way to go to the festival and after discovering their tickets were fake, were able to source legitimate tickets through resale, but were left substantially out of pocket.
Comments also indicated details of the person selling the fraudulent tickets were forwarded to police.
Marnie Lynch posted: "My daughter brought hers (tickets) off someone who said they could no longer go. Add that to your outrageous parking costs, she's out of pocket a heap of money along with a whole heap of other people in the same boat. Conveniently the girl who sold her the tickets has deleted her Facebook page so guess we'll be spending the afternoon at the police station when she gets back from Byron Falls give them a break".
Tod Standage said he had to buy another ticket to get in to the festival : "Had to buy another ticket to even get back in ... Just a casual $1150 weekend just in tickets".
Another festival-goer spent an extra $390 for a legimate ticket after her original ticket was found to be fraudulent.
Are you the victim of Falls ticket fraud?
Contact The Northern Star at 0266200559.
LPA have released a Safe Tickets Guide - http://members.liveperformance.com.au/uploads/files/LPA%20-%20SAFE%20TIX%20GUIDE_Online-1502086596.pdf which is supported by Falls, and industry wide.