S’porean couple duped S$723 for fake Liverpool match tickets, club supporters crowdfund money for real ones
You'll never walk alone.
A Singaporean couple flew all the way to Britain wanting to watch their beloved Liverpool football club play at Anfield only to be scammed out of S$723.
The couple, Muhammad Syahril, 33, and his wife Nurazila Suparman, 34, bought a pair of tickets to a Liverpool-West Ham home game for £400 from a man in England whom they contacted via Facebook.
The couple explained they turned to Facebook groups as tickets to the game were sold out via official channels, probably given how hot Liverpool is this season as league leaders and potential champions.
However, the tickets eventually turned out to be fake.
With no serial numbers and the word Liverpool misspelt as “Liverpoool”, the couple subsequently realised they had been duped after paying the con man in cash.
He even wished the couple a good time at the game.
Told to Liverpool fans via Facebook group
The Singaporean couple then took to relating their plight on a Liverpool supporters’ Facebook group without expecting anything else to happen.
But one of the group’s members, Kevin Doran, started a a crowdfunding campaign for the couple after learning of the deception.
A three-figure sum was raised overnight.
He then managed to get genuine tickets to the Anfield match.
Doran sent the couple two e-tickets via WhatsApp, which even gave the Singaporeans access to a premium lounge before the match.
In response to the couple’s Facebook post, Doran wrote: “Thank you very much for your kind words. I may have helped pull it together but it was a collective effort, that’s for sure… we just wanted to show you some of us do care.”
Liverpool won the match 3-2.
Warning others now
The couple subsequently said they shared their experience on Facebook to warn others.
Interestingly enough, a premonition of getting duped was hovering over Nurazila right after money changed hands with the con man.
“Almost immediately, I felt that something was wrong. On our way back to our room, my husband excitedly looked at the tickets, and said, “This is happening!”, whereas I grimly said to quickly check online where our seats were exactly. Call it a woman’s intuition, but suddenly I felt that we had been conned. True enough, after researching which was something we should have done before the meeting, our biggest fear came true. The tickets were fake — there was no serial number, no block 201 on the Kop Grandstand as the real blocks started with 202, and the side names printed on the tickets were spelled wrongly as “Liverpoool”. My husband decided to take photo of the tickets and posted on the one group he felt was genuine – Liverpool FC Social Supporters Club to ascertain our findings.”
She also described the con man and his confident, easy-going ways to win their trust.
She wrote that the man who called himself Lewis Perry, was a “young skinny white boy, probably in his early 20s”.
She described him as “no taller than my husband and wore a grey Liverpool cap”.
Besides showing them the tickets, he “calmly explained” that their seats will be at the Kop Grandstand, 12 rows behind the goalpost.
He even said his dad and granddad will be at the match, two seats in front of them and they will be waving at the couple.
And this was how the scam was sealed, Nurazila wrote:
“While my husband was counting the money, I asked Lewis if I can have the tickets as he was still holding on to them. He smiled and confidently handed me the tickets. I too did a quick cursory check and noted the main names and date of the match were in order. After paying Lewis, he shook our hands again and told us to enjoy the match.”
Fake tickets galore
Liverpool’s website stated in April 2019 that an average of 80 to 100 forged tickets are seized per game.
Fans are urged to be wary of fraudulent tickets and to refrain from buying from unofficial sources.