According to police, in January 2016, the Niagara Regional Police Central Fraud Unit began an investigation into the sale of fraudulent sporting and concert ticket sales through Kijiji. The investigation identified victims in the Regions of Niagara, Durham, Halton, Hamilton, Waterloo, Cobourg, Toronto, Amberstburg and several locations throughout Alberta.
To assist in facilitating the frauds, the accused would send identification that he had fraudulently acquired to ease concerns and persuade potential clients into sending money. The identification would often belong to a young female with an on-line presence that could be verified through a quick internet search. A story was provided with pressure tactics and when the funds were sent, fraudulent tickets were sent in return or nothing at all, and communication would cease.
The rightful owners of the identification are victims as well, and are not part of the scam.
Hamilton resident, 24 year old Jacob MIRANDA was arrested by investigators on February 24th and is currently charged with ;
Fraud Under $5,000 x 4, Identity Fraud x4, Utter Forged Document, Money Laundering and Breach Probation x 4. The investigation is continuing.
MIRANDA has been held in custody pending his next court appearance.
Ticket scams are the easiest to fall victim to, as it can be difficult to verify the veracity of a piece of paper until you are at the event itself. Here are a few tips to help you stay safe and avoid disappointment:
– Remember to always meet face to face to make the sale! Most fraud occurs via online money transfers. Fraudsters frequently request deposits (or the full purchase price) and claim they will send the tickets over the mail or email. Sometimes fake tickets are sent by fraudsters, though typically they disappear after receiving the funds.
– When meeting locally, if possible, do so at a location where the tickets can be verified, such as the venue itself. If you are not meeting at the time of the event, you should call ahead and check that they will be able to verify for you.
– Research the prices that the tickets are going for and ensure that the price is in line with the market value. If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.
– If the seller is trying to pressure you into a very quick sale, this is often a red flag. Scammers often put pressure on people to act before they have the time to think things through. Take a step back, and ensure you are comfortable with the speed that the transaction is occurring at.
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