fake ticket scams. Unknowing tourists can travel thousands of miles only to be denied entry to the event that they came all that way to see. Such has been the case recently for some extremely unfortunate Chinese football fans who thought they bought genuine tickets to the 2018 World Cup in Russia, only to discover too late that they were wrong.e’ve all heard horror stories about
In total, around 3,500 Chinese fans were duped into purchasing counterfeit tickets sold by a Russian travel agency called Anji MSK, according to a notice from the Russian embassy in China. That’s quite a substantial number considering that about40,000 Chinese football fans purchased tickets to this year’s tournament, according to FIFA numbers.
The Chongqing Morning Post reports that around 90 Chongqing residents were taken in by the scam with 30 of them actually turning up outside of the stadium in Kaliningrad on Saturday, ready to watch the match between Iceland and Argentina, only to be turned away at the gates, forced to miss out on seeing Iceland’s first-ever World Cup goal.
A Sichuan travel agent named Yang Jun told online news outlet The Cover that approximately 1,000 of the fake tickets were sold to buyers in Chengdu. Yang claims that the scam began with the head of the Russian company, who claimed to be a retired pro football player, approaching Chinese travel agencies with official (looking) documents that claimed his firm was authorized to sell World Cup tickets.
The travel agencies took the bait and began selling tickets to customers. However, as the event’s opening day approached, they began to wonder why none of the promised tickets had yet been delivered. Calls to Anji MSK’s offices in Moscow received no reply. The scammers had cleared out.
It’s not clear how all of the defrauded ticket-buyers will get their money back. However, at least in the city of Chongqing, the local tourism bureau has ordered travel agencies to compensate the victims.