Warning after two plead guilty to festival ticket scam

Southampton trading standards has urged people to be cautious buying online after two ex-students pleaded guilty to selling fake music festival tickets.

Dale Frost and David Martins, both 21, are thought to have netted about £11,000 from selling bogus tickets.

In 2009, about 80 people paid up to £250 each for tickets from the website the former Southampton Solent University students created.

They pleaded guilty to two offences under the Fraud and Companies Acts.

Frost, of Radcliffe Road, and Martins, of Milton Road, who appeared at Southampton Magistrates' Court on 22 September, will be sentenced at Southampton Crown Court on 20 October.

Marked 'novelty'

The court heard the pair created the website while in their first year of studying business studies and web design courses at the university.

Southampton Trading Standards said none of the proceeds had been recovered from the two men.

However, they said "most of the victims got their money back because they paid using secure and protected methods".

A trading standards spokesman said: "The site displayed logos and pictures lifted from genuine event sites including the Download, Isle of Wight and Reading festivals.

"However, buried deep in the terms and conditions on the website was a brief mention of the fact that the tickets would not guarantee entry into the event - that would be at the discretion of the event organisers."

He added that when consumers received the tickets just days before the event they noticed they were "marked with the word 'novelty' and would not get them into the event they had paid for".

Councillor Matthew Dean, the city council's cabinet member for environment and transport, said: "I would urge residents to be especially cautious when spending large sums of money online with vendors they have not dealt with previously."

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