A mother who was ripped off after buying fake Taylor Swift tickets has revealed how she got her revenge and money back.
Melissa Love, 51, was scammed out of £680 after she tried to get her hands on the sell-out tickets for her teenage daughter.
Melissa, who runs her own web design business The Design Space, was reeled in by a seemingly innocent message on a small community group on Facebook.
She transferred the funds to someone calling themselves ‘Dave Shepherd’ who had mutual friends and a convincing profile.
But she never received the Eras Tour tickets and soon realised Dave, who initially ‘passed the vibe check’, was actually a Russian scammer and had duped her.
Melissa Love, 51, hatched an ingenious plan to ‘scam the scammer’ after being conned out of £680
Ms Love lost her money to a fraudster on Facebook after she tried to get Taylor Swift tickets for her teenage daughter
But she warned: ‘If there’s one lesson every scammer should learn in life, it’s this, never cross a graphic designer.’
Ms Love, from Fowey in Cornwall, had all but accepted her fate after seeing others in the group had fallen for the ploy too.
But she launched a devious plan to try to frighten the scammer into returning her money.
She faked fraud prevention documents from her bank and made false claims about the International Banking Act of 1979 in the hopes it would frighten him enough to return the money.
One message sent to him read: ‘I have some good news. I’ve just spoken to my bank’s fraud prevention team and they are able to run a report to look up the IP address of where your Wise account was last accessed which will give your location.’
She then created an imaginary army of fellow villagers that plotted against him too.
One of her friends sent a message saying they had a friend in the fraud department at Wise, which is a foreign exchange company, and had caught and prosecuted ‘loads’ of scammers.
This was all untrue but it scared the wits out of the scammer.
Ms Love continued: ‘I hope Dave is picturing a gang of well-mannered English people with pitchforks and really good computer skills.
‘Like Peaky Blinders but with spaniels and a flask of tea.’
After a weekend of ‘scamming the scammer’, as she called it, she was delighted to find the money returned to her bank account on Monday morning.
She added: ‘I was just so thrilled. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of that happening before but I’m glad I gave him some sleepless nights over the weekend.’
The profile of ‘Dave Shepherd’ who was in fact a Russian scammer. Last month a mum from Newport, Wales, warned of the same scam after she lost £750
The Cornwall mother hit back with this message, falsely claiming that banks had traced his IP address
Stories have been shared far and wide about potential scams since the Eras Tour was announced.
Tickets were notoriously hard to get hold of with hopeful buyers stressed about presale codes, huge queues and Ticketmaster glitches.
Last month a mum from Newport, Wales, warned of the same scam after she lost £750.
She said the woman who was selling the tickets looked legit and had a mutual friend.
Hours later she still had no tickets and the Facebook profile had been deleted.
Ms Love said: ‘I would say to people, don’t buy anything off someone unless you know them personally in real life.
‘I wouldn’t trust any ticket sales unless you can go see the person and they can hand them over and it says “general admission with no restrictions” – or just go through official ticket resale sites.
‘There was so much detail behind the profile and we had seven mutual Facebook friends so he must have been laying this for ages and he was in a tiny little village Facebook group. I’m just hoping he had a really bad Monday wondering if the fraud team were going to knock on his door.
‘We still have no tickets but maybe Taylor will hear about it and reach out, who knows.’