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Fans Losing to Online Scalpers Buying Tickets in Bulk

Thursday, September 19, 2013   (0 Comments)

Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) (09/01/13) Grubb, Ben

Online scalpers in Australia are using purchasing syndicates and software bots to make bulk purchases of popular live event tickets, beating fans in the race to acquire those tickets so that they can sell them on the secondary online market, often at vastly inflated prices. Tickets for the most desirable seats are a favorite target of scalpers, and are almost always scooped up in the first initial minutes of a sale. The New York Times reports that bot programs have been used to buy more than 60 percent of the most sought-after tickets for some shows on Ticketmaster's U.S. website. Ticketmaster and Ticketek both verified that bots were being used in Australia, with Ticketek's Cameron Hoy saying his company "has robust anti-bot technology in place to identify and quarantine bots that visit our site." A bigger problem for Hoy is purchasing syndicates composed of people hired to buy tickets in bulk and on-sell them, which Hoy calls "a primary catalyst" of ticket scalping. One measure Ticketmaster uses to thwart bots and mass ticket buys is Completely Automated Public Turing Test to tell Computers and Humans Apart (CAPTCHA) security technology, while Ticketek says it has replaced CAPTCHAs on its website in favor of an "alternative solution that provided increased levels of security."


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