Westlife concert organizers warn fans about fake tickets

By Tan Cao   October 4, 2023 | 12:30 am PT
Ticketbox.com, the official ticket portal for Irish band Westlife’s HCMC concert next month, has warned fans about fake ticket scams after authorities shut a copycat website.

The Ministry of Information and Communications’ Authority of Information Security last week it shut a fake ticket portal that had sold tickets to the concert on November 22.

The website mimicked the Ticketb0x.com’s interface and replaced the letter "o" with a zero, making it hard for fans to spot the difference.

Screenshot of the counterfeit ticketb0x.com website (R) and the real one. Photo courtesy of The Authority of Information Security

Screenshot of the counterfeit ticketb0x.com website (R) and the real one. Photo courtesy of The Authority of Information Security

Man Hong, 43, of HCMC’s District 5, is one of the victims of the fake website.

She came across an advertisement of the fake website on her phone and immediately followed as the listed instructions, transferring VND1.7 million (US$70) for two tickets for her mother and herself to a bank account.

But she received no confirmation for a long time. When she contacted "customer service" through the portal, she was told that the "tickets [she had paid for] had already been sold" and to transfer more money to buy higher-priced tickets.

Smelling a rat, she asked her friends for their opinions, and realized she had been scammed.

The Authority of Information Security has warned fans to be cautious when buying tickets on social media, not to buy from unauthorized websites, fanpages, organizations, or individuals and be careful when they see websites ending with extensions like ".cc," ".xyz," ".tk," and ".tv."

The official ticket portal also warns people on its Facebook page about possible scams and disclaims responsibility for purchases made from other sources.

Westlife came together in 1998 with five members, disbanded in 2012 before reuniting in 2018.

Irish band Westlife. Photo from Westlife Facebook

Irish band Westlife. Photo from Westlife Facebook

The current members of the group are Shane Filan, Mark Feehily, Kian Egan, and Nicky Byrne.

They hold four Guinness World Records, including for being the top-selling group in the 21st century in the UK.

The group is scheduled to perform in HCMC as part of "The Wild Dreams Tour." Vietnam will be one of eight stops in Asia along with Indonesia, Hong Kong, Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Thailand.

It will be the band’s second trip to Vietnam after a 2011 concert in Hanoi as part of its "Gravity Tour."

The event organizers announced that 15,000 seats would be sold exclusively through Ticketbox.com. Each successful login would be eligible for six tickets, and buyers would be asked for email addresses for sending the tickets directly.

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