Cheaper tickets are selling on Gumtree. Photo: GumtreeAs the AFL and NRL finals seasons approach, Ticketmaster has issued a reminder to excited social media users not to post full images of their tickets online.
“In recent times, there has been an increase in fraudulent behaviour whereby people browse the internet and social media sites looking for ticket barcodes that can be copied and resold”, the ticket-seller warned in a blog post.
“It is unfortunate that a simple and innocent Facebook post can lead to major problems, but in the interest of protecting live event fans we need to send a strong message about online safety”.
The warning comes as tickets to next week’s AFL match between West Coast and the Western Bulldogs have begun to appear on online auction sites. Tickets to the sold-out game have appeared on Ticketmaster’s official resale site at inflated prices, in one case for almost six times the original value, making the tickets on eBay and Gumtree all the more attractive.
Although copied tickets recreated from an image of a barcode would be unlikely to hold up to close scrutiny, it’s conceivable that one could be sold and allow its holder entry to the event, meaning the original purchaser would be denied.
AFL General Manager Darren Birch said fans that did not buy their tickets through official channels were taking a risk, even if the ticket turned out to be genuine.
“If they do not purchase their tickets through an official agent then there is no guarantee that they will get what they pay for or that they will get entry to the game,” Birch said.
“Where the tickets can be identified they will be cancelled in accordance with the standard terms and conditions for entry into an AFL game.”
The dangers of posting pictures of barcodes on social media was demonstrated late last year when a punter at the Melbourne Cup backed a 100-to-1 shot, won, and posted a picture of herself with the ticket on Facebook.
By the time she took her ticket to the TAB 15 minutes later, someone she was friends with on Facebook had apparently used her photo to claim her $825 winnings from an automated machine.
Ticketmaster suggests that, if you must share pictures of your tickets on social media, you at least cover up or edit out the barcode.