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Perth ticket scammer avoids jail over fraudulent sales
A concert ticket scammer who netted about $10,000 selling fraudulent concert tickets on Facebook and Gumtree and using stolen credit card details has avoided jail after being sentenced yesterday in the Perth Magistrates Court.
Hannah Valentine was convicted of 53 separate fraud offences after pleading guilty at a previous Court appearance.
She was handed a 12-month intensive supervision order including 240 hours of community service, allowing her to avoid a custodial sentence and walk free from court.
The matter was handed to Western Australian Police after Victorian Police received two complaints of fraudulent ticket sales.
Police said Valentine began making thousands of dollars from unsuspecting victims as early as December 2017 using a number of Facebook and Gumtree accounts.
The accounts she operated featured various fake names including ‘Natalia Sparrow’, ‘Daniella Walsh’, ‘Hannah Jane Mathews’, ‘HannahVal’, ‘Sophie-Marie Lewis’ and ‘Jessica Lewis’.
Hidden behind these aliases, Valentine would post advertisements online claiming that she was selling tickets to events which included a concert by US singer Post Malone and the dance festival Sets on the Beach.
She also actively sought out people who had posted online looking for tickets and attempted to sell them fake tickets.
Valentine made more than $4,000 selling two invalid tickets to the Listen Out music festival to 24 different people.
Would-be buyers were instructed to transfer funds directly into Valentine's bank accounts, but often the victims never received anything in exchange.
On other occasions the tickets they were sent were counterfeits or had been altered, rendering them useless.
Valentine also used the credit card details of a client from a beauty salon where she was previously employed to purchase $5,000 worth of beauty products, clothes, festival tickets, fast-food and ride-share trips.
Magistrate Thomas Hall said the suffering of victims who had purchased false tickets went beyond the financial loss, stating “this was a scam, purely and simply a scam motivated by Ms Valentine's greed and selfishness.
"Not only did she take their hard-earned cash but she deceived them.
"Some of those people would have even gotten dressed up and attended only to be turned away at the gate, shattering their expectations of having a good day or a good time."
Magistrate Hall also said the credit card fraud involved a serious breach of trust.
"In today's age we are forever being asked to hand over credit card details and when we do so, we trust they won't be misused.”
In sentencing, Magistrate Hall took into account Valentine's age, being 18 at the time of offending, her early guilty plea and the fact that repayments had already been made to almost all of her victims.
However, he noted that much of that compensation was made by her parents.
The defence told the Court that since the charges were laid Valentine had lost her job, her friends and her boyfriend and people would point and laugh at her in public.
Valentine, who said she plans to study to become a nurse, applied for a spent conviction but that was denied.
Image: Hannah Valentine poses on social media.
17th July 2019 - Google suspends Viagogo from paid-for global search results
2nd July 2019 - Perth ticket scammer faces more ticket fraud charges
12th February 2019 - Further warning to festivalgoers after Perth scammer nets $10,000 from fake tickets
23rd November 2017 - Google updates AdWords policy to restrict online ticket scalpers
25th September 2013 - 500,000 Australians a year caught out by online ticket scams
24th October 2011 - LPA issues public warning over online ticket scalpers
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