Coldplay fans hit by fake ticket scam at Bell Centre show
Published Thursday, August 10, 2017 8:24AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, August 10, 2017 6:40PM EDT
Many Coldplay fans in Montreal were turned away from a show on Wednesday night, the victims of an apparent fake ticket scam.
Montreal police say they received 17 complaints that night at a downtown police station near the Bell Centre.
One of the alleged victims says her ticket -- seemingly the real thing -- actually contained a bar code for a previous Montreal concert involving Green Day.
Eva Romano says she purchased two tickets in April after answering an advertisement on popular classified site Kijiji.
Romano said she had a bad feeling from the minute she bought the tickets in April from a man who called himself Vince.
"The tickets looked like tickets you print out at home from your computer whenever you buy tickets online for a show. I think I did believe his speech. The tickets looked pretty legitimate. A lot of people told me, 'Are you sure they're real tickets?' I said I'm not 100 per cent sure but I'll give it a try."
She said she expressed doubts about the tickets to Vince, who reassured her they were real with an invoice and promises to respond if she contacted him with any problems.
Her fears were confirmed when she was turned away at the Bell Centre doors.
Marilyn Pellerin also bought tickets from "Vince," handing over $640 for her pair of tickets in a parking lot on the South Shore.
"He was very convincing, very reassuring, very friendly," said Pellerin.
She discovered at the entrance to the concert that her tickets were fake.
Pellerin, Romano, and others who were stiffed believe they were duped by the same person, although Const. Manuel Couture says it's too early in the investigation to say whether all of the cases are linked to a single suspect.
"It's all been transferred to our fraud investigators team and they will have to determine if it's the same person who sold all these false tickets or if it's just a coincidence that so many people are gathered at this one event," said Couture.
"We will have to trace the suspect. We're going to check if there's an IP address associated with this person. We will have to look if there were transactions like PayPal or by cheque."
So far, police have determined that one man they suspect in selling fraudulent tickets was fined $45,000 in April by the AMF, Quebec's Securities Regulator, for illegal trade practices.
Montreal police advise that when buying tickets, it's best to go through the promoter themselves, saying that fraudsters often use a valid ticket and then print it out several times so on the night of the event only the first one to be scanned gets in.
That's advice Romano will follow from now on.
"I will never buy tickets off Kijiji. As of today, it's over."