Thousands Could Miss Gig After Police Close Ticket Siteby Contributor | 21 October 2008
Music fans could be left out of pocket after the Metropolitan police shut down a concert website.
Paperticket.co.uk is thought to have made millions from ticket sales for shows by the likes of Kings of Leon, the Killers and Barry Manilow in recent months but has been shut on suspicion of fraud.
And while concertgoers may be able to obtain refunds from their credit or debit card issuers, they are likely to miss out on the chance to see their favourite acts.
The closure of Paperticket is the latest in a spate of problems with online ticketing agencies this year, with hundreds left disappointed in August when SOS Master Tickets failed to deliver passes for the V festival.
A message on the Paperticket frontpage reads: "On October 16th, the Metropolitan Police Service's Computer Crime Unit requested the dehosting of the www.paperticket.co.uk website under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
"People who have bought tickets from this site are encouraged to call Consumer Direct for advice on 08454 04 05 06."
And according to investigative journalist Shari Vahl, of BBC Radio 4's You and Yours, the site has received more than £2.5 million from credit cards sales in the last year.
"Last Friday morning alone £120,000 is believed to have been taken from people's credit cards," she added.
Graham Burns of the Association of Secondary Ticket Agents (Asta) said his organisation had been "concerned for weeks" that Paperticket was selling at "unrealistically low prices".
"We made our concerns known to the authorities," he continued.
"We would urge consumers only to buy tickets on the internet from accredited suppliers or legitimate ticket brokers who have signed up to the Asta Code of Conduct."
It is estimated that more than 40,000 people have been affected by problems of this nature in 2008, twice as many as last year.