Scammers Create Fake Twitter Account of Taylor Swift Fan to Sell Phony Tickets to the Eras Tour
The excitement for Taylor Swift's The Eras Tour is palpable in the Bay Area but for one devoted fan, Sarah Peters, the anticipation turned into distress when her identity was stolen in a ticket scam. A lifelong Taylor Swift enthusiast, Sarah's love for the pop icon's music has been a source of strength and inspiration, particularly during her battles with OCD and anxiety.
Sarah's connection with Taylor Swift's music
"I would have to go with 'Fearless,' just because I lived with OCD and anxiety, and that can take a lot of your self-confidence. Your bravery and courage. And so listening to the song really helps me. Be fearless! Put yourself out in the world!" says Sarah, reflecting on the impact of Taylor Swift's music on her life.
Overcoming challenges and graduating college
Sarah's journey has been one of perseverance and determination. As mentioned by ABC7 News, despite the challenges posed by her OCD and anxiety, she recently graduated from college with a degree in psychology. Her triumphs didn't end there; she has also published two books showcasing her talent and resilience. However, her greatest desire was to attend Taylor Swift's Eras tour at Levi's Stadium.
The search for tickets becomes a nightmare
Excited about the opportunity to see her idol perform live, Sarah and her mom, Tammi, embarked on a search for tickets that wouldn't strain their budget. In true Swiftie fashion, they even began designing their own outfits inspired by Taylor Swift's songs and albums, painting images on jeans that represented the artist's discography.
Identity theft via fake Twitter account
Their joy quickly turned into anguish when Tammi posted about the mother-daughter jeans project on social media. A fake Twitter account was created using Sarah's identity, attempting to scam unsuspecting fans seeking tickets to The Eras Tour. The account deceitfully advertised tickets for the Seattle-area show, causing Sarah deep distress as she feared being associated with such fraudulent activity.
The family's frustration and police report
Furious and concerned about the implications, Tammi filed a police report. However, to their dismay, the police informed them that since the scammer hadn't used Sarah's credit cards or social security number, it didn't qualify as identity theft. Feeling helpless and frustrated, Tammi couldn't understand how someone could use her daughter's picture to deceive innocent people without consequences. "How is it not a crime to steal people's money, and post someone else's picture as the perpetrator? My head is spinning right now. How is that not a crime!" exclaimed Tammi.
Fighting to save her reputation
With courage and strength, Sarah is standing up for herself and her love for Taylor Swift's music. Just like Taylor's album 'Reputation,' Sarah is determined to fight back against this unjust act and preserve her integrity. "It is distressing. I hope it doesn't go any further because that would just be devastating, as I am trying to start my life now," she said.
Rise of identity theft cases
The number of identity theft cases reported to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has increased in the last five years, according to research by McAfee. The number of reported cases more than doubled from 2019 to 2020, per FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network (CSN) report. As of 2023, the FTC received 5.7 million total fraud and identity theft reports, 1.4 million of which were identity theft cases, per the National Council on Identity Theft Protection. Government Documents or Benefits Fraud tops the list of identity theft types with 395,948 reported cases and total losses are estimated to be $10.2 billion. Other types of cybercrime like dating scams and charity scams have also seen an alarming rise, and it's important for potential victims to know how to protect themselves.
The need for stricter cybercrime laws
The Peters family's ordeal and the aforementioned figures highlight the need for stricter cybercrime laws to protect people from identity theft and online scams. While the scammer may not have used credit cards or social security numbers, they have still stolen Sarah's likeness and exploited it for their gain, causing significant emotional distress and a threat to her reputation.
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