Taylor Swift: Ticketek accounts hacked as ‘thousands’ of Australian fans fear for tickets before Eras tour

Ticketek will establish pop-ups at Taylor Swift’s Australian concert venues to help field thousands of queries related to ticket scams and fraud, days before the superstar is due to perform.

The move comes amid reports some customers had their Ticketek accounts hacked and their tickets listed secondhand and resold. Guardian Australia understands the hackers deployed “credential stuffing”: guessing user passwords using data from other hacks shared on the dark web.

Warnings of ticket scams and fraudulent resales have been rife since Swift first announced the Australian leg of her Eras tour in June. The tour broke records when more than 4 million people tried to secure at least one of the 450,000 tickets on offer across five shows, taking place in Melbourne on 16 and 17 February, and Sydney on 23-25 February 2024.

A Ticketek spokesperson said on Tuesday its team was dealing with “thousands of queries” relating to fraudulent tickets or other scams, working “around the clock”.

Ticketek will set up customer service pop-ups at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and Accor Stadium in Sydney from the Wednesday before each show.

The spokesperson said its technology security team had already shut down a scam website that falsely claimed to be Ticketek’s Marketplace – the official resale platform.

“The Ticketek team are constantly monitoring web and social channels to detect and remove any such sites,” the spokesperson said. “Unfortunately, these are indicative of the length unscrupulous fraudsters will go to capitalise on the Taylor phenomenon.

“We will continue to dedicate significant responses to ensure that real fans are protected.”

Earlier this month, Victoria police issued a warning for customers to be wary of a social media ticket scam that had already resulted in Victorians losing $260,000.

Scammers were hacking accounts and targeting the hacked profile’s friend list, police said, deceiving desperate fans into a hurried purchase which appeared to be from someone they trust.

There had been more than 40 reports of the social media takeover scam between 30 January and 7 February alone.

As of 24 January, the ACCC’s Scamwatch had received 273 reports Australia-wide of Swifties being scammed for tickets on social media, with people losing more than $135,000.

The scam was most prevalent in New South Wales, with 114 reports and $54,000 lost, and in Victoria, with 96 reports and more than $53,000 lost – the two states where Swift is performing.

Scams can be reported via Scamwatch or by filing an online report to police.

Meanwhile, Frontier Touring announced a limited number of tickets would be released for sale on Tuesday, including restricted view tickets priced at $65.90.

These were to go on sale online at 2pm AEDT on Tuesday for all Melbourne concerts, and 4pm for all Sydney concerts, until allocations were exhausted.

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