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AFL fans lose out thanks to fake tickets for Grand Final

Multiple fans that thought they would be going to see the Australian Football League (AFL) Grand Final have lost out due to the purchase of fake tickets. 

Consumer Protection officers attended the Grand Final on Saturday at Perth’s Optus Stadium to assist consumers that had bought fake tickets. This resulted in the ticket holders being denied entry. 

There were five reports of individuals or groups with a total of 12 fake tickets resulting in AUS$6,600 ($4,700/£3,500/€4,000) in losses. 

The tickets were purchased from Gumtree or eBay. 

During the week leading up to the AFL finals, which eventually crowned Melbourne Football Club as the winner, Consumer Protection received reports of a further six ticket scam victims. They lost AUS$3,975 on the fake tickets.

Also during the week, Consumer Protection ordered the removal of a total of 50 adverts on Gumtree, eBay and on social media, which were violating Western Australia’s new ticket scalping laws. 

In anticipation of the ticketing issues that would accompany the AFL Grand Final, the Western Australian Government introduced a new ticket scalping bill. 

The Ticket Scalping Bill 2021 will still allow the resale of concert and event tickets, but it limits the profits made to 10% on the original price. The Bill also outlaws the use of software that allows the user to bulk purchase tickets to sell on. 

Advertisements must also include the original price of the ticket, plus the seat and row number.

Gary Newcombe, Western Australia Commissioner for Consumer Protection, said: “Gone are the days in Western Australia where if you had your heart set on attending a sold-out event or concert you would have little choice but to fork out hundreds of dollars more for a ticket than it was originally worth. 

“This is because new ticket scalping laws have taken effect that restricts the resale of tickets to a maximum 10% mark-up from the original price. Also outlawed is the use of software known as ‘bots’ that bypass security measures to make bulk ticket purchases. 

“Aside from putting restrictions on price gouging by ticket scalpers, re-sellers will also be required to identify the location of the seat or viewing spot for each ticket.” 

Consumer Protection also advises that if a member of the public sees a resale that exceeds the 10% mark-up, or if they have any issues with tickets they have bought, they should contact Consumer Protection.

Image: Harry Cunningham on Unsplash