Thousands of Chinese fans duped by fake World Cup tickets

Football, and the World Cup, is massively popular in China, and according to FIFA around 40,000 Chinese citizens bought tickets for the event in Russia this summer. However, it’s emerged that many of those tickets were counterfeit.

All told. around 3,500 Chinese people have been defrauded by Russia-based travel agent and ticketing agency Anji MSK, according to a report on the English language website, which cites a notice from the Russian embassy in China. That represents just under 9 per cent of total ticket sales to Chinese customers.

Chinese newswires are now reporting stories of fans turning up at the gates of the various stadia hosting the World Cup matches – only to be turned away at the gate. The counterfeits have been detected thanks to the security features added to tickets, which are personalised and include holograms supplied by HID Global as well as unique barcodes linking them to a fan ID.

Entry to the stadia also relies on a radiofrequency ID (RFID) system supplied by HID which is used to automatically identify cancelled or counterfeit tickets at the turnstiles. Holograms from De La Rue appear on official FIFA merchandise and feature colour stereogram animation, microprint, tamper evidence and an individual serial number.

After the scam was uncovered, an investigation Anji MSK revealed that its Moscow offices had been abandoned and the scammers had fled. It now looks like travel agencies in China that unwittingly participated in selling the tickets on to customers may have to compensate the victims. The fake Moscow agency was fronted by a man who claimed to be a retired professional footballer.

The World Cup reaches its climax next Sunday (July 15) with thousands of fans converging on the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow to see which of the remaining teams – France, Belgium, England and Croatia – go on to win the title.

Related articles:

     Want our news sent directly to your inbox?

Yes please 2


Home  |  About us  |  Contact us  |  Advertise  |  Links  |  Partners  |  Privacy Policy  |   |  RSS feed   |  back to top