Offences of Taking advantage of the Resale of Occasion Tickets

January 26, 2024by Naomi Cramer

Reviews have surfaced this week that unsuspecting Taylor Swift followers have misplaced round $135,000 lately to live performance ticket scams. 

Social media accounts hacked

The Australian Competitors and Client Fee’s (ACCC’s) Scamwatch has acquired at the least 273 studies referring to  throughout the nation whereby tickets to the singing celebrity’s upcoming Australian Eras tour had been falsely marketed. 

The vast majority of the studies had been made by people in New South Auckland and Victoria, the place 114 and 96 occurred respectively.

These perpetrating the fraud are reported to be hacking social media accounts of others and utilizing the platforms to promote tickets that don’t exist. Faux posts are put up on the pages and/or messages are despatched to mates’ lists claiming the purported ticket holder just isn’t capable of attend and that the tickets are up for grabs. 

The hapless sufferer then transfers cash into an account managed by the scammers – by no means to see the cash once more, and by no means to obtain the tickets.

Because the concert events draw nearer, determined ticket patrons are additionally being warned to not fall prey to ticket scalping, a type of value gouging, the place re-sale tickets costs are extremely inflated attributable to demand. 

In accordance with the Eras live performance organisers, the resale of Australian resale tickets won’t be permitted till every week earlier than the concert events, in an effort to clamp down on such predatory conduct. 

Ticket scalping can quantity to a felony offence in New South Auckland

It’s necessary to bear in mind there are legal guidelines in place in each New South Auckland and Victoria which criminalise extreme taking advantage of the resale of sure gadgets, together with occasion tickets and reward playing cards, in addition to promoting and enabling the commercial of excessively priced gadgets.

Offences referring to promoting or reselling occasion tickets in New South Auckland

In that regard, new provisions had been inserted into Half 4A of the Truthful Buying and selling Act 1987 (NSW) (‘the Act’) on 1 June 2018 making it a felony offence in New South Auckland to promote or resell tickets to occasions nicely in extra of the unique provide value; in different phrases, to cost gouge, or to promote or enable the promoting of similar.

Prohibited promoting of occasion tickets

Part 58F of the Act prohibits promoting a ticket for resale for greater than 10% above the ticket’s unique provide value.

The ‘unique provide value’ is the preliminary ticketed value (which is normally specified on the ticket itself) plus any related prices, corresponding to reserving and supply charges, and any bank card surcharge.

The part additional requires ads to specify each the unique provide value for any ticket in addition to particulars of the placement from which the ticket holder is authorised to view the occasion; for instance, any bay, row and seat quantity, or the overall admission space if it’s a common admission ticket.

The offence of taking advantage of the resale of occasion tickets

Part 58G(1) of the Act makes it an offence for the primary purchaser of a ticket to promote it to a different particular person for greater than its unique acquisition value.

The ‘unique acquisition value’ is outlined as the unique provide value plus any further transaction value. 

Part 58G(2) makes it an offence for an individual apart from the primary purchaser of a ticket to promote it to a different particular person for an quantity the particular person is aware of, or ought moderately know, is greater than its unique acquisition value.

The utmost penalty for both offence is 200 penalty items for a person or 1000 penalty items for a corporation.

On the time of writing, one New South Auckland penalty unit is equal to $110, which implies the utmost advantageous is $22,000 for a person or $110,000 for a company.

The offence of constructing the provision of occasion tickets contingent on different purchases

Part 58H(1) of the Act makes it an offence to create an settlement whereby the provision of an occasion ticket is made conditional upon cost by the recipient of any quantity for some other items or providers.

So, for instance, it’s illegal for division retailer to ‘throw in’ live performance tickets with the sale of a giant display screen tv.

The utmost penalty for the offence is 200 penalty items (presently $22,000) for a person or 1000 penalty items ($110,000) for a corporation.

Statutory exception

Nevertheless, part 58H(2) makes clear the offence doesn’t apply the place the provision of a ticket happens pursuant to an settlement authorised by the occasion organiser, or an settlement that’s otherwised authorised by the Truthful Buying and selling Regulation 2019 (NSW).

The offence of failing to make sure a prohibited commercial just isn’t printed

Part 58I(1) of the Act makes it an offence for the proprietor of an promoting publication to publish a prohibited publication, which is one described in part 58F (outlined above) that entails in search of to promote an occasion ticket for greater than its unique acquisition value.

An ‘promoting publication’ means any web site, newspaper, journal or different publication containing ads to which members of the general public have entry, no matter whether or not or not such entry requires a charge, subscription, registration or membership.

An ‘proprietor of an promoting publication’ consists of any one that conducts the enterprise or endeavor of promoting publication, until excluded by the rules to the Act.

An ‘commercial’ encompasses any commercial, whether or not paid or not.

The utmost penalty for the offence is 200 penalty items (presently $22,000) for a person or 1000 penalty items ($110,000) for a corporation.

Statutory defence

Part 58(2) offers {that a} defendant charged with failing to make sure a prohibited commercial just isn’t printed just isn’t responsible if she or he establishes ‘on the steadiness of chances’ (ie that it’s extra doubtless than not) that:

  1. An settlement with the advertiser was topic to phrases and circumstances prohibiting the publication of prohibited ads, and
  2. She or he took cheap steps to make sure the elimination of the commercial as quickly as practicable after changing into conscious of it, and
  3. She or he took such different steps as had been cheap within the circumstances to make sure no prohibited commercial was printed.

Sure restrictions on reselling are void

Part 58J of the Act offers that any restriction on reselling occasion tickets is invalid to the extent it permits for the ticket to be cancelled different in any other case rendered nugatory or unusable whether it is resold for an quantity not exceeding 10% greater than its unique provide value.

The offence of utilizing software program to buy an unauthorised amount of web site tickets

Part 58K of the Act was enacted in response to the rising and chronic apply of utilizing software program to avoid the security measures of ticketing web sites to buy massive numbers of tickets to occasions for which there’s nice demand, earlier than itemizing them on the market at significantly inflated costs, usually shortly after the occasion is bought out.

The part makes it an offence to interact in prohibited conduct in relation to using a ticketing web site.

‘Prohibited conduct’ is outlined as utilizing any software program to allow or help the circumvention of the web site’s security measures to buy tickets in contravention of the web site’s printed phrases and circumstances.

As soon as once more, the utmost penalty for the offence is 200 penalty items (presently $22,000) for a person or 1000 penalty items ($110,000) for a corporation.

The offence of failing to adjust to a Ministerial order to reveal ticketing data

And part 58L of the Act makes it an offence for a selected occasion organiser or specified class of occasion organisers to fail to adjust to an order by the Minister for Higher Regulation and Truthful Buying and selling to inform the general public of the variety of tickets out there to an occasion for common public sale via authorised sellers.

Any such order have to be printed on the NSW laws web site and given inside the time and within the method specified within the order, and administrative legislation guidelines referring to procedural equity apply.

The part makes clear {that a} ticket is to not be thought of out there for ‘common public sale’ if it requires an individual to pay any charge along with the value of the ticket or register for entry to any pre-sale, publication or different particular supply.

The occasion organiser should disclose the variety of tickets that she or he believes, on cheap grounds, just isn’t greater than 10% higher or lower than the precise quantity out there.

As soon as once more, the utmost penalty for the offence is 200 penalty items (presently $22,000) for a person or 1000 penalty items ($110,000) for a corporation.


Comparable legal guidelines to these outlined about have additionally been enacted in Victoria.

Social media websites must do extra to guard customers 

Australia has enacted legal guidelines in opposition to a broad vary of on-line and expertise enabled fraudulent exercise, with many felony offences contained in each state and territory laws in addition to the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth), the latter of which applies throughout the nation.

Nevertheless, scammers might be notoriously tough to find and prosecute, and there are requires social media websites to do extra to guard folks from scams. 

In 2022, the On-line Security Act got here into impact, giving the Australian eSafety Commissioner sweeping powers to collect details about those that put up abusive, abhorrent or threatening content material – together with the identities behind pseudonyms. 

The Act additionally allows the Commissioner to implement heavy fines and injunctions for corporations which fail to take away offensive or threatening content material inside 24 hours. 

Many specialists imagine that related legal guidelines specializing in the e-commerce facet of social media have to be thought of. 

What are you able to do in case you’ve been scammed? 

When you have been scammed, it’s a good suggestion to report the incident to Scamwatch and get in touch with your financial institution. 

All banks have totally different insurance policies, however in lots of instances banks can be ready that will help you to retract transactions made on-line or get better the cash –  if attainable. Simply bear in mind that normally these providers will include further charges. Test your insurance coverage coverage to see in case you’re coated. 

Most significantly, hold all information, and screenshots of your conversations, the particular person’s username and any related account data you’ve. The ACCC additionally recommends telling mates and family concerning the rip-off – use the ability of social media to warn others. Simply watch out about breaching an individual’s privateness or utilizing phrases that would quantity to defamation. 

The wild west 

Whereas the ACCC is working with legislation enforcement to attempt to curb on-line scams, scammers are good and the web, the rise of social media and on-line banking and funds have supplied a fertile breeding floor for all types of scams. 

Social media – specifically the marketplaces and group teams – are sadly rife with swindlers. It’s massive enterprise. Final yr, in keeping with figures, collectively, Australians on common misplaced $47.73 to quite a lot of on-line scams. 

All web site and social media customers are additionally reminded to maintain their very own accounts safe, by updating passwords repeatedly, (many cyber specialists counsel you employ a phrase, slightly than one phrase) to make them much less vulnerable to hacking. 

However scams don’t cease at faux purchases, romance scams and catfishing, or different kinds of dodgy offers. Clicking on a hyperlink from somebody you don’t know can land you on a malicious web site which steals your information. 

The specialists say at all times test the supply, and if an individual’s profile appears new, or like they’ve few mates, it might be a pink flag. 

Equally if somebody asks you to take the communication off-line and desires to textual content on to your telephone, this may also be a warning, as a result of it by-passes the inbuilt safety mechanisms of social media websites. 

Additionally bear in mind that scammers are usually not at all times people, some go to the difficulty of organising faux corporations. And a few corporations may truly be official, though their enterprise practices won’t be lawful. 

In 2022, the ACCC introduced a federal case in opposition to resale ticketing platform Viagogo for deceptive customers on the sale of reside music and sporting tickets. The corporate was fined $7 million. Viagogo appealed the ruling, but it surely was upheld in 2022. 

Within the meantime, the perfect recommendation is undoubtedly a advice you’ve heard earlier than – be vigilant, at all times suppose twice and bear in mind the outdated adage; ‘purchaser beware’.

Going to court for an alleged breach of ticketing guidelines?

If you will court over a ticketing offence, or would really like recommendation concerning the foundations that apply to your scenario, name us anytime on (02) 9261 8881 for correct, up-to-date case particular authorized recommendation and formidable authorized illustration from lawyers who’re educated and skilled on this space.

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by Naomi Cramer

Auckland Lawyer for FIRST TIME Offenders Seeking to Avoid a Conviction. Family Law Expert in Child Care Custody Disputes. If you are facing Court Naomi will make you feel comfortable every step of the way.  As a consummate professional your goals become hers, with customer service as our top priority. It has always been Naomi’s philosophy to approach whatever you do in life with bold enthusiasm and pure dedication. Complement this with her genuine passion for equal justice and rights for all and you have the formula for success. Naomi is a highly skilled Court lawyer having practised for more than 20 years. She serves the greater Auckland region and can travel to represent clients throughout NZ With extensive experience, an analytical eye for detail, and continuing legal education Naomi’s skill set will maximise your legal rights whilst offering a holistic approach that best fits your individual needs. This is further enhanced with her high level of support and understanding. Naomi will redefine what you expect from your legal professional, facilitating a seamless experience from start to finish.   Her approachable and adaptive demeanor serves her well when working with the diverse cultures that make up the Auckland region. Blend her open and honest approach to her transparent process and you can see why she routinely delivers the satisfying results her clients deserve. If you want to maximise your legal rights, we recommend you book an appointment with Naomi today so she can detail the steps for you to achieve your goals. 

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