Several Malaysians claimed to have fallen victim to a scammer who is purportedly reselling tickets to Westlife's sold-out concerts
Tickets to the '90s boyband's reunion tour in Kuala Lumpur were quickly snapped up after going on sale on 13 and 14 April, prompting many frustrated fans to lament that most of the tickets had gone to scalpers
To no one's surprise, tickets soon began to pop up on reseller sites like Viagogo and Carousell, with tickets going for over five times its original price at RM3,500 each
Tickets are also being resold at online marketplace Carousell at inflated prices, with some going for almost RM2,000 per ticket.
For comparison, tickets are originally priced from RM272 to RM693. As such, it's no wonder that fans may be inclined to reach out to resellers offering tickets at their original prices.
But some fans claimed to have lost hundreds of ringgit after striking a deal with such "resellers" despite due diligence on their end.
In fact, Natalie - who lost over RM500 - told SAYS that she was wary of being scammed from the get-go.
In an e-mail interview with SAYS, Natalie said she engaged a Facebook user who went by the name "Yap Kar Phei" after she saw him offering tickets for sale in the comments section.
"He offered me two tickets for (Red Zone 4) at normal ticketing price, (which is) RM573 per ticket," she said.
In screenshots of the conversation between her and Yap (below), Natalie questioned him on why he wanted to let go of his tickets and asked him to show her proof of purchase.
According to Natalie, Yap sent over a photo of the tickets, which she said "looks like he got it from the pre-sale at Atria" on 13 April.
Natalie then agreed to pay RM573 as a deposit, with the other half to be paid upon receiving the tickets by post
However, Natalie realised that she was not gonna see her hard-earned RM573 again nor receive any tickets to Westlife's concert when Yap did not reply to her requests for a tracking number and even ignored her calls.
She later discovered that Yap had also blocked her from sending him messages on Facebook Messenger. The same thing happened to Kevin, the Facebook user who first brought the matter to light on the concert organiser's page.
Natalie, who said she made a police report shortly afterwards, claimed that a friend of hers had also fallen victim to the same scammer
In a series of screenshots provided to SAYS (above), it is worth noting that Yap became defensive when the potential buyer asked to see his IC as well as to reveal the name and IC number the tickets were purchased under, which were carefully blocked out in the Purchase Invoice (below).
Natalie claimed that her friend lost over RM1,000 to the scammer as she bought two tickets from him.
At this point, it is worth noting that even though Yap's profile photo is of a man, a quick visit to the profile reveals that the owner of the account identifies as a "she". SAYS has reached out to Yap Kar Phei via Facebook but has yet to receive a reply.
Aside from them, other Westlife fans are also warning their peers to be aware of scammers posing as ticket resellers in the comments section of the same post
While MacpiePro declined to comment on the scam, the concert organiser stressed that fans should only buy tickets from its official website, the MMspot app, or via official offline ticket sales
Long story short, do not buy tickets from scalpers or resellers, lest you get scammed out of your hard-earned money or end up paying way beyond reasonable prices for a concert.