Nfld. & Labrador

Beware of fraudulent ticket sellers, warns Opera on the Avalon about upcoming St. John's show

A St. John's production company is warning consumers about phoney tickets for an upcoming production of The Phantom of the Opera.

Organization says it does not work with secondary sellers

The box office ticket price is $100 Cdn, but tickets can be found on other sites for as much as $238 US. (Opera on the Avalon)

Opera on the Avalon is warning people about fraudulent tickets for its upcoming performances of Phantom of the Opera in St. John's. 

"We honestly think it's horrible. We don't think it's fair to try and cheat any audience," said Cheryl Hickman, who is the organization's general and artistic director.

The issue has to do with secondary ticket sellers which the organization says may be "suspicious and fraudulent."

"What these sites are actually doing is they're putting that these tickets are available for $250 US. Then what they do, if you purchase through them, they then come to [St. John's] Arts and Culture site, they buy those tickers … and then resell you the tickets that they bought from us for $100 Cdn and sell them back to you for $250 US," Hickman said. 

The shows are scheduled from Nov. 7 through Nov. 10 at the St. John's Arts and Culture Centre. Opera on the Avalon was alerted to the issue when people buying tickets flagged it for the St. John's Arts and Culture Centre. 

Opera on the Avalon does not work with secondary sellers, said HIckman. 

One red flag, according to the organization, is that ticket prices in the scam are listed in U.S. currency. 

The St. John's Arts and Culture Centre box office is charging $100 per ticket, including HST and a service charge.

A Google search for tickets to the production in St. John's produced at least one website — Ticketoffices.com — that is selling tickets. 

The cost? $238 US per ticket, even if the "lowest price" option is selected.

Hickman said there are still some tickets available for the performances. 

"We're just trying to make sure that our really wonderful and valued patrons are taken care of and nobody is being taken advantage of and paying three times the price for something," Hickman said. 

Opera on the Avalon said if people want to report a suspicious seller, they can contact Service NL's consumer affairs division. 

Read more stories by CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from Cec Haire

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