Hong Kong Sevens fans warned to stay away from fraudulent online ticket sellers
Organisers urge public to buy resale tickets on official tournament platform
Sevens tickets changing hands over the black market were down 50 per cent last year from 2014 but the Hong Kong Rugby Union is reminding the public to be wary of using touts or fraudulent websites.
Sam Pinder, head of Hong Kong Sevens, is expecting the fraudsters to return in force for this year’s event, from April 8-10 at Hong Kong Stadium, and urged the public to buy tickets via the union’s official online partner, viagogo.
“We made huge steps last year partnering with viagogo in helping to protect our fans from the black market,” said Pinder.
“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.”
In previous years, up to 90 per cent of tickets sold on the secondary market were via the black market.
Touts from overseas were seen in abundance outside the stadium last year, one of whom said it was easy for them to obtain tickets through various channels.
Viagogo said thousands of customers bought tickets on its global network from more than 50 countries in 2015.
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 unauthorised websites. If a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is.”
The public ballot for 2016 tickets has already taken place with the union yet to announce the names of successful bidders.