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Festivalgoers’ data for sale in latest email scam

Suspected email scammers are offering to sell lists of European festivalgoers’ data to agencies and record labels for “marketing” purposes

By Anna Grace on 01 Aug 2019

Email scam offers to sell festival attendee data

Scammers claimed to have the data for 2019 Tramlines attendees

image © Tramlines

Email marketers are offering to sell lists of festival attendee data to music business professionals, in the latest suspected email scam to target the live industry.

IQ has learnt that alleged fraudsters have offered to sell the data of attendees to “many events across Europe”, including Norway’s Øya Festival and the UK’s Tramlines, to booking agencies and record labels.

The majority of the emails, all sharing the same format, come from several email addresses traced by IQ to one Vikram H, operating from an apartment block in Bangalore, India. If one takes Vikram up on his offer, respondents are directed to a company registered anonymously in Arizona. None of the people involved responded to multiple requests for comment.

The alleged scam entails offering music businesses the opportunity to purchase attendees’ full names, email addresses, job titles, complete mailing addresses and phone numbers.

“My guess is that they either don’t have the information they claim to have, or they have nicked the info from our Facebook event somehow”

It is suggested that the data, which is supposed collected from “permission-based, double opt in contacts”, compliant with the new GDPR regulations, be used for “pre-show and post-show marketing campaigns, appointment setting and networking”. It is unclear whether said individuals are actually in possession of the information.

A list of data for 25,127 Øya attendees is priced at US$298. The number is a small proportion of the more than 100,000 visitors expected at this year’s festival – which takes place from 6 to 10 August – but was “very much the same number” as those attending on Øya’s Facebook event at the time of the quotation, says the festival’s chief executive, Tonje Kaada.

“They claim to have gathered the data from surveys, and that all the contacts have agreed to receive emails and calls from third-party companies,” Kaada tells IQ. “My guess is that they either don’t have the information they claim to have, or they have nicked the info from our Facebook event somehow.”

The live music industry has seen several similar scams in recent months. In June, Asian promoters received emails from fraudsters posing as agents of high-profile acts. A scam also targeted artists, with bogus UK festival directors offering acts non-existent headline slots.


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