Scam artists offer fake Ariana Grande tour dates
Scam artists have been posing as Ariana Grande’s agents, claiming to offer 2022 European tour dates for the singer.
In an email seen by IQ, fraudsters purporting to represent the singer state that she is “going to tour Europe in support of her forthcoming album which is scheduled to drop on July 15, 2022”.
Demands include 20 single rooms in a 5* hotel, and 10 single rooms and 15 double rooms in a 4* hotel for a travelling party of “60 Peoples” (sic).
Inviting promoters to “please send us your offer” for the star, who is a client of CAA, it adds: “We look forward to receiving your availabilities for this period so that we can put together the best possible tour schedule to deliver Ariana’s show to her fans.”
The email is headed: “ARIANA GRANDE – WICKED TOUR 2022”.
A sharp increase led the UK’s Entertainment Agents’ Association to issue a checklist for promoters
Such scams had become relatively commonplace prior to the pandemic, with fraudsters posing as the representatives of major artists, including Adele, System of a Down, Beyoncé, Mark Knopfler and Eminem, emailing concert promoters and asking for deposits in exchange for non-existent live dates.
The sharp increase led the UK’s Entertainment Agents’ Association to issue a checklist, urging promoters to adopt the following steps if unsure of an agent’s identity:
1. Check the email address is correct – in particular the email domain – and if in any doubt call the agency to confirm it. Do not use the telephone number on the email
2. Check the artist’s website for any conflicting touring plans
3. Make sure you have full contact details of the agent with which you are working and speak to them on the phone at least once
4. Before sending a deposit, call the agency to confirm the booking and check their account details
5. Check with promoters in other markets to verify the artist is touring in that region at that time
6. If an offer is accepted and seems too good to be true, it probably is
Last November, a woman admitted scamming a charity out of $100,000 by posing as a booking agent for artists including Bruno Mars, Justin Timberlake, Drake and Ed Sheeran. Atlanta, Georgia-based Carissa Scott pleaded guilty to one count of fraud following a hearing in a New York federal court.
Under the name Canvas Media Group, Scott and a fellow defendant were charged with conspiring to defraud investors in events including a December 2019 benefit concert for the Sandy Hook Promise Foundation, set up by relatives of victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
Prosecutors said Canvas Media “falsely represented that they could book top-tier musical acts to perform at the concert”, and sent organisers a contract asking for $500,000 for his performance and a $275,000 deposit. One investor in the benefit show subsequently sent a $100,000 partial deposit to the scammers.
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