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Posts Tagged ‘scam’

Oh the shame. After years of booking tickets online, I have fallen for a fake website and the promise of a ticket to  gig and given away 50 of my hard earned pounds to a crook in Budapest.

Last month, after an unexpected addition to our party going to see The Killers at Hard Rock Calling, I boastfully claimed I would be able find a ticket somewhere:  “Don’t worry, I know some people that know some people.” This was obviously not true – my friends are all as useless as me when it comes to finding tickets for a sold-out concert. Rather than admit defeat so easily, I decided a to have a quick look online.  Bingo – I stumbled across, Hyde Park Box Office – looks professional enough, with a decent url, and offering me tickets  at face value.   I  snapped one up and told my friends, rather smugly, I had sorted the situation.

Fast forward a month, without a ticket the day before the event and with no response to my emails, I start to investigate.  There is no contact number on the website. Alarm bells.   Google hydeparkboxoffice – oh dear.   Check credit card bill – money was taken by a company in Budapest. Oh dear, I’ve been scammed.

Lessons to be learnt: don’t leave the safety of ticketmaster and seetickets unless you really have to, a site you’ve never heard of is unlikely to be selling tickets to a sold out concert at face-value and perhaps most importantly don’t be a smart-arse.

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Old school

I thought I was back in the 1990s this morning, when I read this. I couldn’t quite believe that a) people were still trying the old 419 trick; and b) someone actually fell for it.

If you read the comments attached to the article, you’ll see the general sentiment appears to be that the victim doesn’t deserve a huge amount of sympathy, which I suppose is fair enough. If you’re going to believe an email littered with typos from someone you don’t know, you probably deserve to be taught a lesson. Perhaps not to the tune of £350k, but once bitten, twice shy etc.

“My wife is dead and I am dying/ I am the CFO of a multinational corporation and I am dying/ I know too much and I am dying/ I have stolen a drug king pin’s spare change and I am dying.” We all know them, we’ve all read them, we’ve all wondered what would happen if we responded (to find out, check this out). It’s just surprising that people still fall for them.

But then, I spend all day in front of a computer, talking about, writing about and reading about technology. If I were to get caught out by one of these, I may as well ditch the tech PR job. The victim in this case was a doctor, and probably was too busy saving lives to be completely au fait with the latest in 419 scams.

At least, that’s the hope.

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