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Lastminute sells tickets to fake Stars in their Eyes party

Students cheat punters £20 to pay for birthday bash

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Internet Security Threat Report 2014

When two young ladies bought tickets for an event advertised on Lastminute.com as a Stars in their Eyes party, featuring "pure glamour, riotous fun and loads of A-list celebrities", they got less than they bargained for.

Tickets for the party - hosted at "fashionable" K bar on Wardour St in Soho - cost £20 and all the proceeds went to Cancer Research, said the ad. They called Lastminute and secured their place on the "VIP guest list".

However, when they turned up at the do, all glammed-up and ready to mix with the beautiful and famous, things turned sour. Sure enough, they were on the guest list, along with their addresses and email addresses, but rather than a Stars in their Eyes extravaganza and top celebrities, they were confronted with a karaoke machine and a bunch of drunk students.

It soon transpired that the majority of people there hadn't paid a red cent to get in and they all seemed to know one another. "We initially thought we might have wandered into a Lastminute club or something," one of the girls told The Register. But no. It soon became apparent that the event was to celebrate Rebecca's birthday.

Rebecca, claimed the compere when confronted by the two girls, worked for a fundraising company and all the money would go to the Cancer Research. However, after her stint on the karaoke ("she sounded like a cat being strangled"), a tired and emotional Rebecca dismissed her assumed employee status abruptly.

Having paid £20 for a very different occasion, the two girls naturally felt a little cheated and called Lastminute to complain. After several calls and a threat or two, Lastminute promised it would look into the matter and offered to refund the £20 charged.

While our protagonists can see the funny side, there are nevertheless some serious issues here. The students, by trying to subsidise the cost of the venue, have committed serious fraud and the claim that the money was to go to charity will be heavily frowned upon by the law.

Lastminute, by falsely advertising the event, is also liable. Although by offering to pay back the money it has at least shown willing to address the problem. Dai Davis, a consultant lawyer at Nabarro & Nathanson, said: "So long as you believe you are buying from Lastminute, you have a contract with them and they are liable." Since the two girls phoned a Lastminute phone line and handed over credit card details, this is the case. However, Dai goes on to say: "But if they give the money back, what has been lost?"

We are still awaiting a response from Lastminute.

Just goes to show you kids, you can't trust no one no more. Mind you, wanting to go to a Stars in their Eyes party... ®

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