The thing about scams is that you’re never quite sure if it’s a one unless it’s too late. I literally write about them as part of my job – so a bit of a pro when it comes to this kind of thing, yet nearly – and so nearly – got scammed out of £270 from someone trying to sell me Six Nations Rugby tickets.
The bad thing is, I’m still not 100% sure it wasn’t legit. Tell me what you think after reading the evidence.
I really wanted Six Nations Wales v England rugby tickets
It’s my dad’s dream to go and watch Wales v England play at the Six Nations. We’re big rugby fans in this family (we’re Welsh so not allowed to NOT be) but have never had the opportunity to go.
Tickets for that game, in particular, are incredibly hard to get hold of. Generally, each rugby union will distribute their allocation of tickets to clubs, it’s members and affiliate schools. There’s next to nothing left, they sell out months in advance.
My mum messaged me last weekend asking if there was any chance I could find some (a bit late love!). Took a look on the generic ticket selling sites, and £90 face-value tickets were selling for £1,000 – £1,500.
I like Alun Wyn Jones as much as the next man, but not £1,500 levels of ‘like’. I could go on holiday for that! (I went to school with him by the way – though I don’t think we ever spoke. I wasn’t nearly cool enough).
So then I thought I’d throw it out into the universe and put it on Twitter. I’ve got a load of followers on there – so thought it was worth trying my luck.
A miracle! I was offered Six Nations tickets
I didn’t really think about it after that. I then checked my emails on Monday morning and got this email.
Hello Charlotte. I came across your tweet with reg looking for tickets if it’s any use to you we may be able to help as we have 2 possibly 3 spare tickets as friends are now unable to join us. The tickets were purchased through our local rugby club and as per their rules ( especially if you ever want any in the future ) they need to be passed on at face value or less.
If you may be interested please get in touch to discuss
Many thanks, [REDACTED NAME]
And here’s where I might look stupid. And here’s where I might be being really mean to a man trying to help me and he genuinely does have these tickets – but as you’ll see – it got a bit muddy.
And if there are people out there scamming away on Twitter, and someone thinking about handing over money thinks twice – then it was worth the punt.
OK – back to it.
I couldn’t believe my luck. What are the odds? Not only was I able to take my parents to the Six Nations, but I was also going to get them at cost price.
I excitedly called my parents to tell them I had been able to secure tickets. We started planning.
And here’s where it’s cruel. I didn’t lose money – I didn’t send it in the end, and I’ll explain what stopped me below. But I feel like I’ve been scammed emotionally. I was really embarrassed I got my parents excited too (though they are very lovely about it of course).
I told the person selling the tickets that I was over the moon and that it was my dad’s dream – and he replied with his own story about his dad. I completely trusted him.
How could you be tricked by this, Lotty?
First off – I *really* wanted this to not be a scam. I wanted it to happen. It felt like a risk I was willing to take.
But yeah, if you could sell your £90 tickets (and check out where the seats were!) for £1,500 – why would you give them to be at face value?
He said he’d take half now, and then the other half when I received the tickets. I thought that that was pretty reasonable.
He explained he was part of a rugby club and that he had been going to the tournament for the past 10 years, but the people he usually goes with have dropped out.
He said that he put the tickets on a selling site, but clearly the people who wanted to buy them were going to sell them on at a profit. He didn’t like that.
I convinced myself that he saw my tweet and that he knew I was being honest about going, and not selling them on – so that’s why he’d sell them to me.
He also seemed really genuine, at least initially. At that’s what’s messed up. Maybe he really was, and I’ve blown my chances to get these tickets. But let me tell you the reasons I found it fishy.
Why I didn’t hand over the money
- He was really vague on who he was and I couldn’t get any solid information. Think of the most generic Welsh name – it’s probably that. No mention of which club gave him the tickets and no clues in his email name.
- After figuring out there was no way of meeting (!!!), he told me that it was easy enough to just post them to me – and that he had done it a load of times with other tickets.
- We agree to do this. I ask him to then send me an email with his ticket confirmation before I send over the cash. I also ask him to tell me who he is on Twitter, as that’s where he found me.
- He says he doesn’t have a confirmation email as they’re with his rugby club (which makes sense I suppose), but that he won a ballot and was lucky this time. Which is different from what he said before when he said he went with his dad for the last 10 years.
- He said that it’s not actually him on Twitter, but his friend saw it and forwarded on my Tweet (didn’t give me his mate’s handle).
- I ask if we can do this via PayPal, rather than bank transfer. That way, we’re both protected if one of us is a scammer. He wasn’t having any of it.
- He then starts applying pressure, saying that other people are interested (well, who wouldn’t be – these are some of the most sought after tickets out there right now!). They were happy with how he wants to get paid, so they’re going to wrap this up in the next hour or so.
- At this point, I start getting irritated – because I hate pressure tactics.
- I said, sure – I’ll pay via bank transfer just as soon as he takes a picture of the tickets (he was picking them up the next day apparently).
- The next day I get a text from him, saying he’s not really on email today as he’s busy, but again, more people want the tickets, but he’ll give them to me, as we were talking first if I just give him money for one ticket, rather than just half of the first amount. I say I’ll do it if he just sends me a picture of the tickets.
- He never did.
What do you think? Was it a scam?
I’m still not sure, you know? I even feel bad about writing this, because maybe he was just a really nice man, and I was being awkward.
I just didn’t like how he wouldn’t use PayPal because I would lose my protection (but then again, my parents wouldn’t have used it).
And then pressuring me with all these people interested – con-man tactics 101. I just couldn’t send money to someone over the internet without seeing the tickets at least somewhat exist (even then they could have been fakes).
But yeah, the whole thing upset me, even though it cost me nothing.
So what do you think? Reckon it was a scam, or do you think I messed up on a good thing?
If you are looking to buy tickets to the Six Nations, check out this guide and please keep safe.
As I’ve got you here, fancy some more scam-based content? Then fill your boots!