World Cup: Fake website selling Ind vs Eng tickets exposed in Lucknow; FIR lodged
Fake tickets for the India vs. England cricket match at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow are being sold on a fake website, iccworldcuptickets.com. The Lucknow Police have lodged an FIR against unknown individuals and are investigating the matter. In addition, there are reports of ticket black marketing through social media platforms, with tickets being sold at inflated prices. The Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association is struggling with ticket availability for the match. The police have warned that stern action will be taken against those involved in such activities.
LUCKNOW Fake tickets for World Cup matches were allegedly being sold on a website - iccworldcuptickets.com, which has been operational for the past few weeks. The Lucknow Police unit detected this fake website created to deceive cricket enthusiasts and also lodged an FIR on Tuesday (October 24) against unknown individuals ahead of the crucial India vs. England cricket match scheduled to be held at Lucknow’s Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium on Sunday (October 29).
Lucknow’s Joint Commissioner of Police (JCP), Law and Order, Upendra Agarwal, stated that Sub-Inspector (S-I) Dhirendra Pratap Singh lodged an FIR under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 420 (fraud), 467 (forging documents), 468 (using forged documents for cheating), 471 (using forged documents as genuine), as well as Section 66 of the Information Technology (IT) Act for the misuse of technology to deceive people by offering World Cup tickets.
Providing further details, he explained that the website was designed to easily attract cricket enthusiasts, despite advisories issued before the start of the World Cup, recommending that people purchase tickets only from the authorised portal, BookMyShow, the official ticket booking partner of the event. The website deceived people by offering tickets in six different categories, with prices ranging from ₹2,811 to ₹13,790.
Significantly, black marketing of tickets for the ODI World Cup match between hosts India and defending champions England in Lucknow is also ongoing through various social sites, and the prices are inflated. The Hindustan Times had highlighted this issue in its Lucknow edition on October 21 with the headline “On Sale in ‘Black’: ₹50,000 Tickets for CWC Fixture in Lucknow,” after which the local police unit took action.
In the context of the recent case, the Lucknow Police unit stated that they received intelligence about the sale of tickets from this fake and unauthorized website following a secret probe ordered by JCP Law and Order, Upendra Agarwal. Subsequently, an FIR was lodged. The JCP also wrote a letter to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to verify its authenticity and alert the authorities about this fraudulent website that was cheating gullible cricket enthusiasts.
It is not yet clear how many people have been deceived by this website and who is operating it. The ticket crisis for the India vs. England match has made things difficult for the hosting unit, the Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association, as the state unit of the BCCI itself is struggling with ticket availability.
“We aren’t the ticket sale authority, and even we are struggling with ticket availability for the match. It’s purely the responsibility of the International Cricket Council, and we are just supporting them,” said UPCA’s secretary, Arvind Srivastava.
U.P. Police Special Director General (Special DG), Law and Order, Prashant Kumar, said that state police special agencies, as well as the Lucknow Police, are monitoring suspicious social media accounts involved in ticket black marketing for Cricket World Cup matches at the Ekana Stadium in Lucknow. He warned that stern action would be taken against those involved in such activities.
Shady dealings, social media bootleggers emerge ahead of game day
LUCKNOW As the India-England match, scheduled for Sunday (October 29) at Lucknow’s Ekana Stadium, draws near, social media platforms, including X (formerly Twitter), have become inundated with social media bootleggers selling tickets illegally at exorbitant prices.
Tickets for various sections, from ground level to upper blocks, are available. Some users have shared their contact numbers, including WhatsApp, for more information. Some even offer home delivery of the tickets.
Despite the initial ticket price being set at ₹1500, they are being sold for as much as ₹11,000. A Twitter user with the username “FPL struggle” wrote, “Tickets available for the India vs. England World Cup match at Ekana Stadium, Lucknow. Direct message for the best prices. Hand-to-hand available. I have four tickets in two different stands, East upper 5 and West upper 10.”
Another user posted pictures of tickets and stated, “2 tickets available for India vs. South Africa and India vs. England.” This surge in illicit ticket sales follows reports of tickets being sold on a fake BCCI website, prompting Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Upendra Kumar Agarwal to take action and inform the BCCI.
After searching the #Lucknow hashtag on X’s search feature on Wednesday, every other Twitter post offered tickets for sale with instructions to direct message (DM) the seller. When one such seller was contacted via DM, they promised to deliver the tickets to the buyer’s doorstep, assuring the authenticity of the tickets and their legitimacy. The quoted price for tickets in the West Block was ₹11,000.
An anonymous city blogger, who managed to secure a ticket through bookmyshow.com, the only authorized platform for online ticket sales, revealed that ticket scalpers could also be found outside the stadium.
“We have posted a video on YouTube about the matches, and in the comment section of our videos, these bootleggers are advertising ticket sales. We faced significant challenges in obtaining tickets, so it’s baffling how these individuals managed to acquire and engage in black market sales,” he added.