It's every Swiftie's worst nightmare.
After going through all the ups, downs and eventual success of securing tickets to The Eras Tour, they inexplicably disappear from your Ticketek account. And that's exactly what has happened to some ticket holders.
There have been multiple reports of fans having tickets stolen from their Ticketek account after hackers gained access. It comes just days before Taylor Swift takes to the stage in Melbourne to kick off the Australian leg of her tour.
The Eras Tour is an app-only ticketed event, meaning that tickets bought through the website sit virtually in your account. No physical tickets have been issued.
Multiple reports from ticketholders - who obtained their tickets both through the official resale site, Ticketek Marketplace and the original Ticketek sale in June 2023 - have lost their tickets after hackers accessed their account and sold them on Ticketek Marketplace. The first indication anything was wrong was when the original ticket holder received an email confirming the sale.
Ticketek confirmed it was aware of unauthorised access to some accounts via "information that had been obtained from other sources".
It is believed the hackers used "credential stuffing" to access these accounts - a technique that sees hackers use credentials obtained from a data breach on one service to attempt logging in to a separate service.
"As good online practice, we recommend that account holders are changing or updating their passwords frequently to safeguard their interests," the Ticketek statement read.
"If customers believe that they've had stolen or misappropriated property, and the resale of their tickets was fraudulent, customers should immediately file a police report and contact Ticketek customer service so we can commence an investigation."
If they can prove they purchased the tickets, their information was legitimately compromised and the sale was fraudulent, the tickets "should revert to the original purchaser".
Ticketek will also set up customer service pop-ups at Melbourne Cricket Ground and Accor Stadium in Sydney from the Wednesday before each show.
"Ticketek's customer solutions team are working around the clock to assist customers with their Taylor Swift ticketing enquiries. Unfortunately, our team are also dealing with thousands of queries that either relate to fraudulent tickets or other scams," the Ticketek statement read.
This is not the only instance of hackers and scammers playing with the hearts of Swifties.
Ticketek has also shut down a scam site claiming to be Ticketek's Marketplace resale platform.
"The Ticketek team are constantly monitoring web and social channels to detect and remove any such sites," the Ticketek statement read.
"Unfortunately, these are indicative of the lengths unscrupulous fraudsters will go to capitalise on the Taylor phenomenon. We will continue to dedicate significant responses to ensure that real fans are protected."
Choice and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission issued a warning last month about fake tickets being sold on social media.
In those instances, scammers hack social media accounts, assume the identity of that profile - often trusted community groups, businesses or individuals - and post that they have tickets for sale. At the time, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's Scamwatch had received 273 reports of people being scammed, with more than $135,000 lost.
The Australian Federal Police issued a statement encouraging Australians to protect their online accounts against statements selling tickets.
To keep your online account, the AFP is encouraging all Australians to:
- Turn on multi-factor authentication on their accounts, such as face scans or fingerprints on electronic devices;
- Create strong passphrases which should be made up of three or more random words and include a combination of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters;
- Use different passphrases for different accounts, systems and applications;
- If you believe a social media account has been hacked, report it on the platform;
- If you see a scam, report it to Scamwatch; and
- Purchase concert tickets through authorised resellers only.
AFP Commander Chris Goldsmid said Australians should practice good cyber hygiene to ward off cybercriminals, even when their favourite artists are not performing on highly-anticipated global tours.
"Cybercriminals will use any tool or trick to exploit people for their own profit, such as manipulating their love and desire to see an artist perform," he said.
"Our partners at the National Anti-Scam Centre have received over 270 reports of people being scammed buying Taylor Swift 'The Eras Tour' tickets via social media since tickets went on sale in Australia in June 2023.
"If you see these scams on community social media pages or notice someone posting content that seems out of character, report it immediately on the social media platform and to Scamwatch.
"If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
"If your account is hacked, report it to police using the report button at cyber.gov.au. Do not feel embarrassed or ashamed - police are here to help you."