back to article Wiseguys net $25m in ticket scalping racket

Federal prosecutors have accused four men of fraudulently obtaining more than 1.5 million concert and sporting-even tickets by hacking the computer systems of multiple vendors. Over a six-year period, the men employed computer scripts that snapped up tickets to some of the hottest events just a fraction of a second after they …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If only they had used their skills for good

    and just dumped all the Coldplay tickets down an abandoned mine somewhere

  2. corestore

    Dirty sneaky nasty...

    ...blatant profiteering, but I don't see where the actual crime has been committed; they bought and paid for the tickets, no fraud there; the promoters and artists got paid. They resold them at market price; no fraud there; the punters got the genuine tickets they paid for. They just charged what the market was willing to bear. Unless there's more to the story than has been printed, I can't see how this can be twisted into a criminal matter.

    1. Steve Roper

      May not be a crime

      but scumbags like this are of no use to world or society in general. In my book, bastards like this should be hanged for the greedy, opportunistic, useless cretins they are - like all spammers, scammers, fraudsters, malware purveyors, botnet herders and similar arseholes whose only skill is in exploiting and milking people without actually contributing anything worthwhile to civilisation. But I'll be happy if they end up doing 25-30 in the big house instead.

    2. bortbortbort


      I'm not sure how "massively inflated prices" = market price. And you'd probably be less forgiving if you missed out on tickets for some popular event because of these cunning swines.

      1. Stratman


        The market price is what the seller is prepared to accept and the buyer is prepared to pay.

        Thye fact the touts made millions would seem to imply they didn't charge too much.

        1. Mark 65


          the only problem was that they became the market and so distortion occurred due to lack of competition.

          However, I'm still not sure that a crime has been committed and they didn't need to collude with anyone, which is better than what banks and supermarkets do in most countries. Oh, and RAM manufacturers. They like colluding.

  3. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Free market rules

    Ahh America, where it's dog eat dog.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    6 Years of Pricing Issues

    From what I understand of the article - it seems that the market has been underpricing for 6 years for front row tickets. If fans are willing to pay so much more for these tickets, then why aren't they being sold at a higher price in the first place? Then no more business for scalpers..

    I understand the 'special price for special fans' issue where they cheated a couple of times, but most of their activities seem to be on standard commercial concerts that were underpriced.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Why does anyone listen to Coldplay? What have Coldplay got to say about anything? I mean, at least Kula Shaker went to India.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      RE: Coldplay

      I suspect that Coldplay buy their own records by the millions. They must do because no-one else likes the crap they make!

  6. yakitoo
    Happy alleged computer programmer....

    got quite a few of those working here.

  7. Version 1.0 Silver badge


    It couldn't of happened to nice guys.

    Basically they did to Ticketmaster what Ticketmaster does to us.

  8. lukewarmdog

    Useless human beings

    But kudos for making so much money out of flipping. Anyone who pays £120 for a £10 ticket deserves to be ripped off. Why are we all slagging off Coldplay? They bought tickets for Miley Cyrus. I mean seriously.. wont somebody think of the children?

  9. Just Thinking

    The music industry

    If they have something of low value, an MP3 file, they massively overcharge for it. When a large section of the public respond by filesharing, they want special laws introduced to stop it.

    If they have something unique and valuable, front row tickets to a big concert, they undercharge for them. When a business responds by snapping up the underpriced tickets and reselling them at their true market value, there are special laws to stop that too.

    Why don't they fix their business model so it works under the same laws as every other business?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: kula shaker went to india

    But the inconsiderate cnuts came back again.

    Touts. I don't care if what they do is legal. I don't care if what they do is moral. But I do want them to die cold, lonely deaths. Harsh but fair

  11. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    White hat hacking?

    I don't think so... when even their own people were ashamed of how much money they were ripping people off for...

    You noticed that they hacked their way through Captcha and used fake ID information to do this?

  12. JC 2

    What do you wonder about?

    It's real simple. Gut them like pigs. The end.

  13. Paul 70

    Nothing to See here ... move on.

    In the ticketing industry there are so many shouts against the secondary market - mainly, though, I suspect it is a call of "not fair" from the primary market ( read "Greed") for someone selling tickets at a higher price than they dare.

    Essentially, though, the touts are just exploiting the free market. If they can get some goods at price x and sell at price y and make some profit then why not. If the primary industry wants to get rid of the secondary then they need to price their tickets better (at a level that the market will buy at). This puts the secondary guys out of business, but puts more pain on the final purchaser if they want cheap tickets.

    Perhaps the industry should move towards more of an auction buying model then everyone wins.

    I can't really see what these guys have done wrong - except contravene the T's & C's of the tickets they've bought.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      "Perhaps the industry should move towards more of an auction buying model then everyone wins."

      Erm.... nope..... the wealthy win! The rest of us have to make do with cheap seats.

      Paris - because she knows how to sell tickets!

      1. Paul 70


        And what is wrong with that? We can't all afford Rolls Royces, some of us have to make do with something a bit more basic. If the market will support the high cost items then those who can't afford it might have to settle with the cheaper, but less derireable alternatives.

        By the way, it is not the wealthy who win here, it is the concert promoter or band or whoever (but I agree that they may well be wealthy). Once the high price market has gone all other tickets (presuming there are some) will sell at a lower price. Touts won't buy them because the people who will have bought pricy tickets will already have done so so the market disappears, and they also will not be making such a high margin - who would buy an already high priced ticket at an even more inflated price?

        We have to remember that these goods are not essential items, they are pure luxury (we don't need them to live) and as such there should be no price fixing to artificially make them more available to everyone.

  14. Harthin

    Ticket Scalping

    Ticket scalping is actually against the law in most states in the U.S. Taking a event ticket and selling it for a profit as a third-party is a no-no.

    Should it be? Meh, I don't care enough to concern myself.

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