Leeds police investigate online fraud involving Justin Bieber tickets

Emily Taylor Blackburn believed she had bought tickets to see Justin Bieber in concert. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire
Emily Taylor Blackburn believed she had bought tickets to see Justin Bieber in concert. Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Police investigating reports of online ticket scams have arrested a Leeds man.

A number of people are understood to have filed complaints after tickets which they bought online for various events failed to arrive.

They included this summer’s Leeds Festival and Justin Bieber’s current world tour.

Emily Taylor-Blackburn, 17, was among those who fell victim to the fraud.

She had bought two tickets – priced £100 each – to see the Canadian superstar performing in Sheffield on Wednesday.

Instead she spent the night at home in Seacroft, with media coverage of the event serving as a painful reminder of what she was missing.

Her mum, Kelly Taylor, said her daughter was “devastated”.

“When you’re promised six weeks before the concert that they were coming, you’re just counting it down,” she said. “She’s been really anxious over the last couple of days, but she knew deep down they weren’t coming.”

The tickets were bought back in January and it was only when Miss Taylor contacted the seller on her daughter’s behalf in July to try to buy a third ticket that alarm bells started to ring.

They repeatedly called the contact number on the invoice and website, but could not get through to the seller.

When they eventually spoke to a man six weeks ago they were assured the tickets would arrive, but with two weeks to go they began to suspect it was a scam and demanded a refund.

Miss Taylor, 38, of Ramshead Drive, said they were still waiting for the money.

“You don’t think that kind of thing will happen to you,” she said. “It seemed genuine.”

West Yorkshire Police said a 51-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of fraud by false representation in relation to ticket fraud on October 5.

He has been released on bail while investigations continue.

Figures compiled by The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) and Get Safe Online show that incidents of online ticket fraud rose by 55 per cent in 2015, costing the UK public £5.2 million.

Facebook and Twitter were used to instigate more than a quarter of crime relating to ticket fraud, while 22 per cent of reported incidents took place on Gumtree.

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