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July 26, 2017

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CIB warns the public about fake event tickets

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB, 刑事局) recently urged the public to be aware of a wave of new scams that prey on members of the public hoping to buy tickets to sold-out concerts and events, following two recent cases in Taipei.

The CIB reminded the public to be aware of ticket scams even though sales advertised on the Internet are often conducted on a face-to-face basis between buyers and sellers.

An 18-year-old student, surnamed Chang (章), a fan of Korean boyband Teen Top, stated that she had purchased a number of concert tickets for NT$5,500 from a seller known as Hong whom she met on Facebook. Chang stated that she and Hong had arranged to meet at an MRT station. Chang however, stated that shortly after the transaction, she thought something was amiss with the tickets. Chang then rushed to a nearby convenience store, and was informed by clerks that her tickets were counterfeits printed by a color photocopy machine.

Another 20-year-old student, surnamed Lai, said that she had bought a number of concert tickets for NT$4,300 after seeing an advertisement by a forum user on the Internet. Lai also met her seller at an MRT station to pay for and pick up the tickets. She then took the concert tickets to take advantage of a promotional offer of discounts at a Starbucks coffee shop, and was told by clerks that her tickets were fake. As she could not reach the seller for an explanation, Lai filed a police report.

Both Lai and Chang reported that their allegedly fraudulent seller was a woman about 160 cm tall with hair done in a ponytail.

The CIB stated that the two fake tickets in the case were made with color photocopy machines, and designed to resemble tickets printed by self-service kiosks at convenience stores. According to the CIB, the suspect had taken advantage of the busy environment of MRT stations, and that the poorly made fake tickets were enough to fool their victims for the duration of the short face-to-face exchange.

Police urged the public to be cautious over transactions arranged with people they meet on the Internet, saying that buyers and sellers should meet face-to-face at the event's official box office and have the staff verify the authenticity of concert and event tickets.

As a number of high-profile summer season concerts approach, the CIB reminded the public to dial the 165 counter-fraud hotline if they suspect scams.

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