[Article originally published at Sinar Daily – “Curb ticket scalping by limiting purchases, block IPs, delay ticket sales, suggest experts” on May 23, 2023]
SHAH ALAM – Ticket scalpers reselling tickets for the upcoming Coldplay concert in Malaysia at inflated prices has sparked widespread discussion and concern in recent weeks.
The reselling of tickets at double the original price has garnered significant attention from both the public and authorities as scalpers use automated bots to purchase tickets in large quantities from authorised sources, only to resell them at a higher price, resulting in unfair pricing practices.
According to Imperva, a cyber security software company, it said almost 40 per cent of all ticket purchases online are estimated to be by scalper bots.
Ticket scalping is one of the key threats faced by the ticketing industry, resulting in lost revenue to secondary marketplaces, as well as reputational damage and even, potentially, loss of partnerships with organisers and other stakeholders.
Chief Executive Officer Dr Mazlan Abbas said it is challenging to stop scalping due to several reasons.
“Changing strategies. Scalpers consistently modify their approaches to evade security measures, resulting in an ongoing challenge to stay ahead of their tactics.
“Next is the problem with technology constraints. Ticketing systems often face difficulties in finding a balance between security requirements and user convenience,” he said to Sinar Daily.
However, Mazlan said there are several defence strategies that can be employed to combat ticket bots.
Mazlan said the implementation of advanced Captchas and puzzles can be an effective measure to differentiate between human users and bots.
He further said to prevent mass purchases driven by bots, rate limiting and IP blocking can be employed.
These measures involve imposing restrictions on the number of tickets an individual or IP address can purchase, thereby mitigating the impact of bot-driven activities, he added.
Commenting further, Windows Server Engineer Lakmidran Sasedaran said selling tickets two hours before the showtime could reduce ticket scalping issues.
“Stop early bird ticket selling. The event planner could start selling tickets at least two hours before the show time.
“This will cut down ticket scalpers,” he added.
Lakmidran further said the lack of initiative to implement appropriate technologies to curb ticket scalping has made it increasingly challenging to prevent such practices.
“Technology to curb ticket scalping would need huge amount of money to build the software and to block scalpers to resale the ticket.
“Also not many will implement this technology since it’s not a big a deal for anyone except the clients or customers who are unable to attend the event or show,” he further said.
The existence of accounts on various platforms reselling Coldplay concert tickets at excessively high prices, reaching up to RM43,200 has sparked widespread criticism from the public.
The exorbitant pricing practices of these ticket resellers have attracted significant attention on social media, further fueling public outrage.
The highly anticipated Music of the Spheres World Tour by Coldplay is set to take place on November 22 at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium, marking the band’s inaugural concert in Malaysia.