All This Technology, And We Still Haven’t Found a Way to Stop Ticket Scams in Singapore?

All This Technology, And We Still Haven’t Found a Way to Stop Ticket Scams in Singapore?
Image: Super Deluxe / Giphy

Recently, Singapore has been living up to its name as SINGapore. Every A-lister is holding their concert here.  As the sole Southeast Asian stop, Singapore saw millions of fans vying for a mere 300,000 seats across 6 Taylor Swift shows. The overwhelming demand also set the stage for exploitation. The staggering interest becomes fertile ground for scalpers and scammers to prey upon eager fans.

An astonishing 462 individuals were swindled out of approximately $480,000 since January. When we place this figure alongside the historical losses—$84,000 in 2018, $66,000 in 2019, $9,000 in 2020, $3,000 in 2021, and $175,000 in 2022—the spike this year becomes even more alarming. 

In a first-world nation with cutting-edge tech and biotech wonders, ticket scams—practices as old as the industry itself—still persist. Like cockroaches, scalpers find new ways to sidestep ticketing barriers and scam prevention efforts to prey on hopefuls. 


Why Haven’t We Found a Way to Stop Ticket Scams in Singapore?

  1. What are the common types of concert ticket scams? 
  2. What kind of measures are in place in Singapore to fight scams?
  3. Blockchain for ticketing: a beacon of hope?
  4. And then there’s scalping…
  5. Tips to shield yourself against scammers
  6. The digital dilemma 


1. What are the common types of concert ticket scams? 

Trusted platforms like Carousell, Facebook, Telegram, Twitter, and Xiaohongshu, have inadvertently provided fertile ground for such malicious activities. While these platforms bring convenience and connectivity, the implicit trust we place in them has also made us vulnerable to scams. How do they do it? We detail 3 key stages before one falls victim. 

The Initial Trap: Victims first encounter ticket advertisements on these platforms and are drawn by the allure of available tickets on sale. The scammers then request to communicate on private messaging apps, like WhatsApp, Telegram, and WeChat, to remove any semblance of security or safeguards.

Fake Proofs and Urgency: To assuage doubts, these scammers present fabricated evidence: videos and screenshots of tickets or receipts. Fueled by tales of time-sensitive deals or dwindling tickets remaining, victims are pressured into hurried transactions and undermining their sense of caution

Vanishing Acts: After making payment, many fans find themselves waiting in vain. Though promised ticket transfers, nothing comes through. The scammer ultimately ghosts them, leaving fans without tickets and out of money.

Even with all the tech we have today, scams still seem to be an issue in our local concert scene. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it? Should ticketing or reseller platforms do more to protect users? Should we as consumers be more careful in the way we deal online?

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2. What kind of measures are in place in Singapore to fight scams?

The folks at the top know. The severity of ticket scams in Singapore has been escalated to the parliament. Minister for Home Affairs and Law, K. Shanmugam, recently indicated a governmental acknowledgement of the crisis. 

The Singapore Police Force (SPF) has been keeping a close eye on concert ticket scams, especially when big-name artists are involved. They’ve spotted how these scammers operate and highlighted these tactics to the public to raise awareness.

Thankfully, the Ministry of Home Affairs hasn’t been idle either. Their efforts to combat ticket scams include:

  • Collaboration: By joining forces with concert organisers, ticket retailers, and online platforms, the government is ensuring the public receives timely advisories. For instance, SingPost has displayed warnings on digital screens. Likewise, Ticketmaster has issued similar alerts on their platforms.
  • Public Education: The Inter-Ministry Committee on Scams has pushed for safer eCommerce dealings. Their introduction of the eCommerce Marketplace Transaction Safety Ratings in May 2022 informed users about protective measures on various eCommerce platforms.
  • Legislative Empowerment: The recent passage of the Online Criminal Harms Act is monumental. It enables the government to compel online platforms to take down scam-related content, implement prevention mechanisms, and verify users; making it harder for criminals to operate undetected.

In addition, the authorities have set forth a clear 3-step precautionary blueprint for buyers:

1. ADD 

Before even diving into the online marketplace, equip yourself. Apps like ScamShield serve as the first line of defence. By setting rigorous security features such as two-factor (2FA) or multi-factor authentication for financial transactions

When purchasing your concert tickets, make sure you’re procuring tickets only from official sources. Don’t bother considering third-party resellers to save you unnecessary worries. 

Embrace “escrow” payment mechanisms where it ensure money is transacted only when the product is delivered. Direct bank transfers might just be a one-way ticket to an irrecoverable loss, as there are little anti-scam measures in place.


Just as you wouldn’t accept candy from a stranger, you shouldn’t dive headfirst into an online purchase without vetting. Before parting with your hard-earned money, delve into the veracity of what’s being sold. 

Scam Alert’s official website provides a repository of information and the Anti-Scam Helpline at 1800-722-6688 for your needs. If the situation permits, arrange for a physical meetup to inspect the authenticity of the tickets.

3. TELL 

Today, information is power. By sharing your experiences, suspicions, or knowledge about potential scams, you not only protect yourself but also create a ripple effect. Alerting the authorities, family, and peers can prevent others from falling prey. 

And if you stumble upon fraudulent advertisements, you can easily report on your social media platforms to help them keep their ecosystem clean. For those seeking more comprehensive information about scams, you can always dial the Police Hotline at 1800-255-0000 or visit

Despite the many measures in place, we need to remain vigilant. 

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3. Blockchain for ticketing: a beacon of hope?

With the accelerated development of tech products, even our way of transacting is evolving. NFT/ blockchain is emerging as a popular format in Singapore. It’s not just about buying a pass; it’s about reimagining the entire event experience, from acquisition to attendance.

Our local NFT market is set to grow at a whopping 36.9% from 2022 to 2028. It shows how we’re diving headfirst into the world of digital tech and blockchain. With more of us hopping onto blockchain trading platforms, like, faster than the rest of the world, it’s clear Singaporeans are on board the blockchain train.

NFT ticketing vs. traditional ticketing

Traditionally, ticketing revolves around paper or digital passes, acquired from box offices or authorised resellers. They offer a 1-time entry to the event.

On the other hand, NFT ticketing taps into the blockchain’s open and secure system. These tokens aren’t just any tokens; they’re one-of-a-kind. They’re not just tickets but a symbol of owning an event experience. You can even resell or swap them. So, it’s not just about getting in; it’s about options for the holder.

Benefits of NFT ticketing

  1. Authenticity and immutability: Each ticket is unique, and forgeries are near impossible thanks to blockchain.
  2. Transparency and traceability: Tickets can be traced back to their origin, ensuring legitimacy.
  3. Flexibility and resale: Offering a secondary market, NFT tickets can be sold, traded, or kept as collectables.
  4. Efficient management: Gone are the days of printed passes. NFTs reduce fraud and wastage.
  5. Fan engagement: NFTs provide a richer digital experience, from collectibility to special access.
  6. Enhanced security: With blockchain and smart contracts, fraudulent entries become rare.
  7. Increased revenue streams: Reselling allows multiple profit points.
  8. Accessibility: Being digital, these tickets ensure fans can enjoy events from anywhere.

Risks associated with NFT ticketing

However, like with all technologies, NFT ticketing isn’t without its challenges:

  1. Volatility: NFT value can fluctuate based on market interest.
  2. Infrastructure: The nascent stage of the technology means a lack of widespread adoption.
  3. Potential for scams: Digital platforms can sometimes be rife with scams.
  4. Regulatory ambiguity: A clear regulatory framework is still evolving.
  5. Technical glitches: Being tech-dependent means vulnerabilities exist.
  6. Complexity: The NFT realm can be daunting for the uninitiated.

*Note: Potential users must understand the landscape, from the event organiser’s credibility to the NFT’s platform, and the associated risks.

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4.  And then there’s scalping…

Even as advanced NFT ticketing methods promise better security, the age-old issue of scalping still lurks around. Many scalpers exploit the system by manually creating multiple accounts on ticketing platforms. 

The resurgence of live events post-pandemic and the burgeoning K-pop scene in Singapore creates a supply-demand mismatch. As fans scramble for limited tickets, scalpers find opportunities to buy and resell at incredulous markups. The resulting inflated prices leave genuine fans either financially stretched or completely sidelined.

How can we deter scalping without affecting genuine fans, especially international ones? Current regulations may not account for NFT tickets or digital ownership nuances, making updates a necessity. By integrating more biometric or ID-based ticketing systems, we could offer an added layer of protection against scalping. 

However, it’s easier said than done. Having to implement such a system requires ticket masters to jump through hoops to gain proper approval which can take forever. A much more stringent system can also affect the user-friendliness of the site and the sales experience. We may expect more complaints than compliments.

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5. Tips to shield yourself against scammers

Here are some essential tips to protect oneself from the cunning tactics of scammers.

Step 1: Equip with Knowledge

  • Update & Educate: Stay abreast of the latest scam techniques. Information is power.
  • Basics of Digital Literacy: Understand security indicators like secure URLs (https) and the pitfalls of public Wi-Fi usage.

 Step 2: Cultivate a Sceptic’s Eye

  • Too Good? Think Twice: Deals that seem overwhelmingly favourable often come with hidden strings.
  • Guard Against Unsolicited Contacts: Unexpected emails, messages, or calls asking for personal details should be met with caution.

Step 3: Your Info is Gold; Treat it That Way

  • Rotate Passwords: Use robust, varied passwords across platforms. Consider a trustworthy password manager.
  • Limit What You Share: Dispense personal information sparingly and only when it’s essential.

Step 4: Be a Meticulous Shopper

  • Background Check: Research platforms or sellers before making a purchase.
  • Opt for Secure Payment: Prioritise credit cards or reputable online payment gateways that offer buyer protection.

Step 5: Tech is Your Ally

  • Defense Software: Invest in updated antivirus and antimalware tools.
  • Double Up with 2FA: Enhance your account security with two-factor authentication wherever possible.

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The digital dilemma

Well, every boon has its bane. With the convenience of technology today, we don’t have to queue at the physical ticket booths overnight to make our purchases. Now, we can do that by camping on our computers and smart devices. The same advances that brought us convenience also opened new opportunities for scammers and scalpers. 

The answer isn’t as simple as making a police report anymore. Digital scalping and scams are like shifting sands, changing form rapidly. Drafting regulations to counteract them becomes a challenge. Even with rules in place, enforcing them across borderless digital platforms poses a unique challenge. While Singapore can legislate for local platforms, international ones remain harder to control. We need a more dimensional approach.

Tackling scams and scalping is all about agility. Authorities need to stay ahead, predict emerging threats, and respond swiftly. This might involve collaboration with tech companies and platform providers.

Moreover, educating the public on the latest scamming techniques and cultivating a culture of caution can be a useful first line of defence. While the government can implement safeguards with strong legislation, we have to play our part to be well-informed and vigilant. Lest, you pay a price for a concert you can’t watch.


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