Montreal woman scammed on Facebook while buying Taylor Swift tickets

Article content

The drama surrounding tickets for Taylor Swift’s record-breaking Eras Tour continues: A Montreal woman was recently scammed while trying to help her friends secure seats for one of the singer’s November shows in Toronto.

It was an elaborate ruse: the scammer wasn’t simply advertising tickets they didn’t have, which is a common tactic. In this case, they hacked into someone’s Facebook account and posed as that person to scam her friends, who had no idea they were speaking to a stranger.

Article content

While not a Taylor Swift fan herself, Amanda Alderman saw her friend post she was selling tickets last week and relayed the information to her colleagues, a group of Montreal nurses, who wanted to attend the show but hadn’t been able to get tickets during the Ticketmaster sale.

“So then I went back and forth — I was the link between the two of them,” Alderman said, adding that she has known the woman whose account posted about the tickets for decades.

Everything seemed fine in the beginning, Alderman said. Speaking in a Messenger chat Alderman and her friend had previously used, the scammer said they were selling four tickets for $400 each, a price Alderman’s colleagues agreed to. They sent an e-transfer to an email with a name that didn’t match the seller’s, which Alderman said she didn’t register as a red flag because she figured that with a total of four tickets, someone else had made the initial purchase.

Once the money had been accepted, Alderman said the seller requested contact information to transfer the tickets on Ticketmaster, and then said there appeared to be an additional $50 charge per person for the name change. Alderman decided to pay the fee herself — an extra $200 — and have her friends reimburse her once they received the tickets.

Article content

“Then we waited, and then she started taking a while to answer, so now I started getting nervous,” Alderman said. “I wrote to her sister … and she said ‘this is a scammed account.’ They notified Facebook a week ago, and Facebook didn’t want to take the account down.”

The post advertising the tickets, dated Feb. 15, was still up Tuesday evening. It was flagged as a scam by the Montreal Gazette and, just after noon on Wednesday, an automated “support message” indicated the platform would not be removing it.

“We use a combination of technology and human reviewers to process reports and identify content that goes against our community standards,” the message read. “In this case, we did not remove the content you reported.”

a screenshot from facebook indicating it has no intention of removing a post flagged as a scam.

The post had been deleted by Wednesday afternoon (it’s unclear how or why it was taken down), but the hacked account remains active despite repeated attempts to flag the issue to Facebook, Alderman said.

She added her friend has been made aware of at least one other person who was scammed thinking they were buying the nonexistent tickets.

Since she facilitated the sale to her colleagues, Alderman decided to refund them herself.

“So now I’m out of $1,800 for this whole scam,” she said. “Why I’m annoyed about this whole process is Facebook was made aware. … I wouldn’t be in this situation if Facebook just took the account down when they should have.”

Requests for comment sent to both Facebook and Meta on Tuesday did not receive responses by Thursday afternoon.

“I would never do this to someone … these scammers out there have no pity,” Alderman said. “I’ve had to sign up to all this overtime to pay this now. It’s like two months’ rent for me.”

[email protected]

Recommended from Editorial

Share this article in your social network