HKRU warns Sevens fans illegal websites will be even more difficult to identify

The HKRU is warning fans that online fraudsters will be back in force in 2016 ahead of the Hong Kong Sevens

Fraudulent websites have always been a problem around the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens.

At their peak, nearly 90 per cent of ticket resale for the Hong Kong Sevens took place on the street or on unauthorized websites where there is no consumer protection, leaving thousands of fans disappointed. This was a major concern for the organisers, and steps were taken in 2015 to address the issue, including a multi-year partnership with viagogo, the world’s largest ticket marketplace, to serve as the official ticket marketplace for the Sevens.

As a result, there was at least a 50 per cent reduction in fraudulent transactions in 2015, while ticket listings on unauthorized websites significantly fell as fans had an authorised and official platform for buying and selling Hong Kong Sevens tickets.

In addition, due to viagogo’s global network of websites, thousands of new customers bought tickets from over fifty countries with the confidence that their ticket was certified as official by the organisers.

Sam Pinder, Head of Hong Kong Sevens at the HKRU, is warning fans that the fraudsters will be back in force in 2016, so to ensure people are not left disappointed, they are strongly encouraged to use the official ticket marketplace.

Pinder said: “We made huge steps last year partnering with viagogo in helping to protect our fans from the black market. Since we began working together, we have seen a reduction in black market sales, but the risks are still out there. Tickets sell out quickly, so we know people will have to buy elsewhere, but don’t risk buying from unofficial channels.”

A spokesperson for viagogo said: “Our mission is to stamp out fraud and to make tickets more accessible to the HKRU’s international fanbase. We had a fantastic and successful year in 2015, reducing fraudulent transactions by at least 50 per cent and drawing fans from over 50 countries and thousands of international customers through our network of nearly 60 global websites.

“In short, don’t risk buying on the street or from unauthorized websites. If a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is.”

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