MONTREAL – Many Coldplay fans in Montreal hoping to catch their final show in the city Wednesday night were turned away, the victims of an apparent online fake ticket scam.
Montreal police said Thursday they received 17 complaints at a downtown police station near the Bell Centre.
One of the duped fans said others she met who’d also been hoodwinked had similar stories: they’d seen advertisements on popular classified site Kijiji and had met a man in person for the exchange.
Eva Romano said she purchased her two tickets in April, paying a man who claimed to work for a U.S. ticket broker $100 each for two fake tickets that were valued at $40 each.
She said in an interview that while her ticket seemed authentic, it actually contained a bar code for a previous Montreal concert involving Green Day and she was turned away.
An employee at the arena said although the tickets looked legitimate, they were in fact fake.
“The person had changed a few informations (details) on the ticket to make them look real because it did look like a real ticket,” Romano said.
When she arrived at the police station, Romano said she and a friend were surprised to see they were not the only ones.
“There was a group of about 20 people filing reports and everyone had a similar description of the person,” she said. “A lot of us had similar versions of the story and a lot of the people were from different parts of the province and had met the man in the last few weeks and months.”
Romano said after exchanging stories with others who were filing complaints, they believe they were duped by the same person. One of the alleged victims even had a picture of the man.
Montreal police Const. Manuel Couture said it was too early in the investigation to say whether all of the cases are linked to a single suspect.
Police advise that when buying tickets, people should go through the proper sources.
“We recommend buying tickets from the official promoter to minimize the risk,” Couture said. “Buying person to person through classified sites always poses an increased fraud risk.”
As for Romano, she won’t being purchasing tickets through the site again.
“I think it’s the first and last time, totally,” she said.
Coldplay played sold-out shows at the Bell Centre on Tuesday and Wednesday.
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