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Ticket touts who made millions from Adele and Ed Sheeran jailed

The fraudsters used bots and fake identities to resell tickets on sites like Stubhub, GetMeIn, Viagogo and SeatWave.

Skiddle Staff

Date published: 25th Feb 2020

Two men who made over nine million pounds from ticket touting have today been jailed in a landmark case.

Ed Sheeran and Adele were just two of the artists targeted by Peter Hunter and his civil partner David Smith, who used bots and false identities to harvest thousands of tickets and resell on sites such as Stubhub, GetMeIn, Viagogo and SeatWave.

Investigators found 112 different payment cards in 37 names in the pair's home in North London. It is reported that they used around 100 different names, 290 email addresses and 88 postal addresses to conduct their operation.

Sheeran's manager, Stuart Camp, gave evidence at the trial, after the 'Perfect' and 'Shape of You' hitmaker protested about touts offering £75 tickets to a Teenage Cancer Trust gig for sale at £7,000 in 2017.

Hunter and Smith, who traded under company names BZZ and Ticket Wiz, were found guilty of fraud earlier this month at Leeds Crown Court and given sentences of four years and two and a half years respectively.

It is the first such prosecution brought by National Trading Standards against online ticket resellers, and was described by the NTS as a "landmark case".

Earlier this month, comedian Ricky Gervais tweeted: 'Don't buy from touts, kids. I'd rather see empty seats than see those dirty scum make money from real fans. At least the extra profit from the official Platinum tickets goes to animal charities. #FuckTheTouts'.

You can read about the steps Skiddle takes to prevent touting here.

Image: Markus Hillgärtner