Ed Sheeran tickets 'scam' robs mother of wedding savings
A young mum has vowed never to buy anything online after falling victim to a "scam" that cost her thousands of pounds she had saved for her wedding.
Arlene McCann, a retail assistant, bought four tickets, costing £375, for an Ed Sheeran concert in Dublin in April for herself and three friends.
But instead of being charged the amount she agreed to pay, the Dromore woman was shocked to see almost £2,200 debited from her credit card two days later.
Alarmingly, when she got the tickets, it said they had been paid for in cash.
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, the devastated 27-year-old mother-of-one said she thought the website was misleading.
"I went into the Google search engine to find Ed Sheeran tickets and it brought up the Viagogo website," she added.
"Four tickets were priced at £375, but when I entered my details and received an order confirmation, the total cost was £2,191.62. It was a real shock.
"I went online to try and get the tickets pre-sale on Tuesday, January 31, but the money wasn't debited from my credit card until February 2.
"The website was misleading because it didn't allow me to see the amount I was being charged before I checked out. I'm worried I have been a victim of a scam."
Miss McCann, who has a five-year-old daughter, said she had not received a refund or even a response from any of the bodies she complained to.
"I was very upset and I didn't know what to do," she explained. "I tried to cancel the tickets, but I couldn't. My partner went to the bank to cancel the payment, but they wouldn't cancel it.
"It was some of the savings for my wedding this May. I'm getting married in Dromore and then having a reception in Donegal.
"I have written a letter of complaint to the bank and I've also reported it to Trading Standards, but I haven't heard anything yet."
Arlene also told how the experience had made her wary of conducting any business online.
"I don't want to go to see Ed Sheeran anymore," she said. "After what happened, I wouldn't go to the concert even if it was in my own living room.
"I just want my money back. This has put me off buying tickets over the internet. I have a wee girl who's coming six, so I have enough bills to pay with childcare without this."
Trading Standards spokesman Bill Malloy urged consumers to exercise extreme caution when booking tickets for concerts through online services.
"Consumers shouldn't be distracted by being at the head of an online queue, by screen timers, or information about other customers looking for tickets," he said. "They should take their time and check the entire web page.
It follows complaints to Consumerline from customers who had not checked if they were using an official or secondary website when buying tickets.