Scammers with fake Facebook profiles target Bongo's Bingo event
PUBLISHED: 09:33 05 October 2019 | UPDATED: 10:09 05 October 2019
Scammers with sham Facebook accounts have been taking money for fake tickets to the sold-out Bongo's Bingo event in Norwich.
The Bongo's Bingo club night is headed to Epic Studios for the first time this Saturday following its success in places such as London, Manchester and Gorleston-on-Sea.
Tickets sold out just a few days after they went on sale in August.
With high demand for tickets to the event, which also features dance-offs and rave intervals, scammers have targeted the event's Facebook page pretending to have e-tickets for sale before requesting a PayPal money transfer.
The dodgy profiles are newly created and a 24-year-old woman, who does not want to be named, had £15 taken by someone claiming to be called 'Louise'.
Louise didn't have any Facebook friends or content on her profile.
Speaking via Facebook Messenger, Louise said the e-ticket price was £25 and urged the woman to pay through PayPal gifting, which is a regular trick used by scammers as it offers little buyer protection.
"Ensure you pay through family and friends and send a screenshot of payment when you done ok [sic]," she said.
After the woman said £25 was too expensive, Louise asked her how much she would be willing to pay and negotiated the price down to £15.
The woman paid but didn't receive an e-ticket.
When she asked Louise whether it had been sent, Louise said: "My sister just showed up and said that I shouldn't sell the tickets that cheap."
The woman then messaged her a number of times asking when the tickets would be sent, which was ignored and the profile was deleted shortly afterwards.
A spokesman for Bongo's Bingo said "We hate the idea of our customers being mis-sold tickets from third party sellers so we always advise against purchasing tickets from anywhere other than our website.
"We recognise this can be a problem and we are currently working on a ticket resale system for our new app which will be launched soon.
"Huge apologies to anyone who has been mis-sold tickets from fraud sellers and please be vigilant and careful."
A spokesman for Norfolk County Council's Trading Standards team said: "Scammers will often target fan pages and selling pages on social media claiming to have tickets and asking those interested to direct message them.
"Once the money is transferred to the seller's account, the post or user account is deleted leaving the buyer out of pocket with no tickets and no way to contact the seller."
Their tips for buying safely are only buying from the venue box office or reputable ticket exchange sites, never to transfer money directly to the seller's bank account and to be wary of online adverts and social media posts.