Law student Zainab Pervaiz, 25, has been charged with 16 counts of fraud after conning ticket buyers out of over £7,000. Pervaiz set up online listings selling tickets to Justin Bieber, Adele and Beyoncé concerts. In a calculated plan, Pervaiz used her friend’s Granddad’s Paypal account to receive the funds, making tracing criminal activity back to her more difficult. The Granddad, Sidney Bicknell, had no idea of the illegal on goings, yet was forced to pay back the fraud victims from the same account.
Prior to investigation Pervaiz held an esteemed reputation as national sports star, excelling in both women’s football and cricket.
Judge Simon Drew QC described how Pervaiz had been manipulating Bicknell over a sustained period, maliciously taking advantage of a vulnerable old man. Drew concluded that Pervaiz had lied ‘consistently, repeatedly, not only to the complaint- the grandfather- but also the police as well’ .
Pervaiz is currently on bail, but will return for sentence in November where she could face up to 3 years in prison. Unsurprisingly, Pervaiz has been told she will not be able to pursue her career in law.
Examples of student ticket fraud:
Similar events occurred earlier this year at Nottingham University where students were scammed into buying fake tickets via the Nottingham Buy/Sell Facebook page. Rebecca De Beukelaer, the founder of the page, warned students of the dangers of purchasing fake tickets after five separate incidents of students being conned by the same account. De Beukelaer told Impact that she knew this case was a scam after two differently named accounts were giving the same bank details.
Christie, a medical student at Leeds said, “I’ve been scammed a few times and it’s really unsettling. It’s always happened when I’ve been drunk at pres and decided to go out on a whim. I try to get a ticket as quickly as possible and don’t really think about the safety of it all, so my advice would be plan ahead and buy them in advance!”.
Liam, a music student at Manchester, said “I’ve even been scammed in person. I tried to sell a ticket to this girl. I emailed her it and then she said she had to go and get the cash out but never came back. Felt like a bit of a nonce if I’m honest.”
Several Students’ Unions across the country have issued advice to avoid students being scammed. Tips include:
- Always meeting the person you’re buying the ticket off of (in a public place, of course);
- Making sure they show you the ticket before you hand over your money or vice versa;
- Never buying a ticket off someone who you have no mutual friends with (if they go to your uni, the chances are you will).
- Finally, (ambitious) but arranging your nights before events sell out.