Category Archives: my face value

Gangsters with Blackberry’s & the Upsurge in “Intelligence Led” Busts

A sensational story about the criminal use of encryption appeared across social media this week like it was a scoop. It wasn’t. But that’s the way it was portrayed.

For the uninformed it played directly into the narrative that encryption is bad and overwhelmingly used by those withquestionable motives or downright evil intentions.

So What Happened?

The headlines varied but basically Vincent Ramos the boss of Phantom Secure, a company whose website declares that it supplies “THE WORLDS MOST TRUSTED COMMUNICATION SERVICE” was arrested in California.

The company supplies or supplied a modded and allegedly zero knowledge handset which is or was it claimed “Simple, effective and easy to use while highly secure, … recognized by government agencies and cyber experts as “Uncrackable” “.

All utter rubbish of course but if you are selling a high performance sports car to a guy who struggles with a gear change on a bicycle then who is to contradict you?

Imagine! Organised crime were using encrypted phones to communicate and those encrypted phones were being supplied by commercial outfits who knew.

Scoop? No.

“Buyer Beware” — What Did Phantom Secure Sell?


The sales bumf declared that the “Classic Phantom Secure Encrypted BlackBerry Device”, apparently proven “year after year”, (by whom is unstated) was light weight and easy to use and provided end to end encrypted messaging, in theory. The package included:

  1. Modified and Locked Down Device
  2. Secure Encrypted Device to Device Encrypted Messaging
  3. Anonymous Communication
  4. International Roaming
  5. 6 months Subscription Included

The “Phantom Secure Android Edition” made the laughable statement that it provided unmatched secure enterprise mobility from BlackBerry and the “best at rest” security on an Android KNOX device, which communicated over the Phantom Secure service.

Summarising, the company promised “totally anonymous, device-to-device encrypted communications, brought to you by a globally trusted and recognized secure communications service.

The problem with that is that it was not brought to the companies customers by anything approaching a globally trusted and recognized secure communications service because it was hosted on Blackberry Enterprise Service servers.

Blackberry executive chairman and chief executive officer John Chen recently said “Today’s encryption has got to the point where it’s rather difficult, even for ourselves, to break it, to break our own encryption… it’s not an easily breakable thing. We will only attempt to do that if we have the right court order. The fact that we will honor the court order doesn’t imply we could actually get it done.

This Phantom Secure Android version included:

  1. Modified and Locked Down Device
  2. Secure Encrypted Device to Device Encrypted Messaging
  3. Anonymous Communication
  4. KNOX hardware and software integrated device security
  5. Prive Encrypted Chat
  6. Compatible messaging with BB7 Devices
  7. International Roaming
  8. 6 months Subscription Included

Worthless Disclaimers & Hollow Promises

Phantom Secure, and many like them, take care to make various disclaimers which they seem to think are a get out of jail freecard and state in their “Legal Compliance” section that:

We are a law-abiding company that is permitted to deliver encrypted communication services to our clients in order for them to protect their communications, without having the ability to decrypt their communications.”

The statement in no way ensures that these kind of suppliers cannot be indicted on charges. What it does do is give the impression to prospective customers that the company can in some way guarantee that even in the face of a warrant they do not possess the ability to compromise the historic or future communications of their customer base either intentionally or unintentionally.

But in the case of Blackberry that is just not true. It is public knowledge since 2016 that Operation Clemenza by the RCMP allowed Canadian investigators to access consumer-grade phones from Blackberry where the decryption key is in the company’s (RIM) possession.

BlackBerry, however, also offers the option to run their BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) which allows clients to run their own network of phones, and keep possession of their own decryption key. And this is what Phantom Secure were doing but as far back as January 2016 Dutch police said that they were able to read encrypted messages sent on the custom, security-focused BlackBerry devices.

Also in December 2015 in the article “The Encryption Debate: a Way Forward,” on the official Blackberry blog INSIDE Blackberry the company wrote that “privacy and security form the crux of everything we do. However,our privacy commitmentdoes not extend to criminals.”

But isn’t criminality established after due process has taken place? Warrants do not prove criminality even if there is probable cause? Are RIM Blackberry qualified to make the distinctions?

Regardless they sold their BES products based on the claim that they would never be called upon to make the distinction because they had designed a product that was totally secure.

There are products which can guarantee this and even in the face of warrants are unable to provide logs, metadata, or encryption keys. But BES cannot. There lies one of the many significant problems that Mr. Ramos faces.

The disclaimer continues …

“Our service does not require personal information and has no back doors. In providing such a service we do understand that there will be a very small number of people that may use our service to do activities we do not support. We do not condone the use of our service for any type of illegal activities and if known we will terminate the use of our service without notice.”

“Considering this, requests for the contents of communications may arise from government agencies, which would require a valid search warrant from an agency with proper jurisdiction over Phantom Secure.”

“However, our response to such requests will be the content and identity of our clients are not stored on our server and that the content is encrypted data, which is indecipherable.”

“Our company was founded as a means to provide businesses and people the opportunity to communicate in private in this modern technological age. Unfortunately there will be people that will use this technology for acts we do not condone but this should not be the reason why our universal human right to privacy should be taken away.

Mr. Ramos & Explaining the Unexplainable

The very unlucky or very silly Mr. Ramos, depending on which way you look at it, has now been charged with racketeering activity involving gambling, money laundering, and drug trafficking. I hope Mr. Ramos enjoyed the spoils while he could because he is in a very tight spot now, one way or the other.

US authorities have argued that Phantom Secure operated explicitly to enable organised crime groups to evade detection while planning major crimes. Phantom allegedly built an international client base of criminals by taking BlackBerry devices, stripping out the camera, microphone, GPS navigation and other features, and installing encryption software, making them difficult for law enforcement to crack. He was arrested in California, amid claims that his firms products’ were allegedly linked to Australian murders and drug trafficking.” [This extract is from “Phantom Secure boss arrested in US, amid products’ suspected links to Australian murders” By Dan Oakes, ABC Australia, Monday 12th March 2018]

Think about that statement “Making them difficult for law enforcement to crack.”. Hmmmm. If Mr. Ramos makes bail I predict that one of the first questions that he will be asked by some of his more colourful customers is how exactly does that statement sit with the claims the company made on their website. At best he over-promised and under-delivered. [For posterity I have preserved the Phantom Secure website before it inevitably goes dark.]

These dog and bones went for between USD1500–USD2000 a piece with 6 months shelf life and Phantom Secure had 20k subscribers. Do the figures! If you lost one then you had to buy a new one, no discounts.

Isn’t it amazing that a market segment of normally paranoid individuals are willing to buy an expensive technology that they do not understand from a supplier that they do not know and then proceed to drop all normal “opsec”, if you could call it that, and openly plan the spectaculars that led to these arrests.

The Recent Upsurge in Success for “Intelligence Led” Operations

In the fullness of time it will be very interesting to see how the evidence to construct this indictment was acquired, what paper trail was left by the company showing their modus operandi, the promises versus the actual reality of what the company claimed it could deliver, and whether these claims as and of themselves are seen by the Courts as a marketing tool solely intended to appeal specifically to a certain base, namely those with criminal intentions, and how that can be proven.

The story also raises interesting questions on a topic that I have been researching now for some time – parallel construction. Over the last three years there has been a staggering increase in seizures of drug shipments and the foiling of multiple gangland assassinations attributed to “intelligence led” operations.

Since the late noughties Blackberry handsets have been the comms weapon of choice for organised crime even though they have been widely discredited. There is a school of thought that outfits such as Phantom Secure have been tolerated and let exist by law enforcement because they were such a rich source of warrantless intel.

But now that even the most clueless crims are moving away from the platform it seems that it has been decided that it is time to bring in all the “CEO’s” of these secure comms companies. Their usefulness has been exhausted.

Some of the coverage in recent days has claimed that Ramos is co-operating. My guess is that LE wish to use his arrest to turn him into a “co-operating witness” and as such provide them with what looks like legal access to the Phantom Secureservers.

In that way all of that juicy warrantless surveillance can be seen to have been legitimately obtained intelligence and the clientbase, big fish and small, can be hoovered up en-masse or turned into assets.

As for the stuff that has gone before — well, it didn’t become an issue at the trials so no need to revisit that. It was credited to HUMINT in the shape of informants who could not be named in order to protect their identity.

The Inevitability of Licensing

I have no particular insight into the innocence or guilt of Mr. Ramos in this case. I do not know whether he overtly solicited criminal clients in the full knowledge of their business and their need for secure comms in order to evade detection in a criminal enterprise.

What I do know is that if you are legally recorded saying:

“Hey man, I sell these phones that are bullet proof and can’t be hacked or eavesdropped (“even though that is not the case”) and I know you value your security and privacy because your foe is law enforcement and your trade is illegal and I can sell you these phones for $$$$’s and you can ply your trade without fear of discovery

….. then you are nicked mate.

Mr. Ramos is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. He is finished every which way he turns.

The movie Layer Cake has a rich seam of relevant content to illustrate my point. In that movie Colm Meaney explains to Daniel Craig’s character XXXX his Cornelian dilemma as a result of being present during an incident:

“Listen, son. Let me explain something to you. Freddie’s in intensive care with a bit of a brain haemorrhage. You were there at the scene. That’s called joint venture. Now, if Freddie dies, you’re either in the dock with Morty… …or you’re in the witness box putting him away. Think about that.

The outcome of this matter is likely to produce significant and wider repercussions for the providers of secure communications solutions in general.

This case and those to follow are a preparatory step for compulsory licensing for purveyors of private encryption systems. They offer an antidote to the privacy objections about backdoors and present a far more pragmatic solution to giving law enforcement access to encrypted communications than systems that are “thoughtfully design” as was recently and ridiculously suggested by FBI Director, Christopher Wray.

The provision of private secure comms solutions will evolve to the same standard of licensing as is applied to firearms sales. Such companies will be required to be licensed before offering the service and when selling licenses I guess that pre-qualification checks on the purchaser will be required too. Purchasing a license will probably be enough to claim “probable cause” under FISA rules in the US. It takes little enough justification to eavesdrop as it stands.

Undermining the Argument for Un-Compromised Encryption

The arguments in support of generally available un-compromised encryption services are devalued by the incorrect parallels that the opponents of encryption make between them and the Phantom Secure case.

It plays directly into the narrative that the host of encryption luddites in law enforcement, government, and the intelligence community peddle daily as they seek to justify back-dooring or banning encryption products.

Those who oppose encryption use illogical extrapolations when making their arguments — “the bad guy used encryption … therefore the crime was committed because of encryption”. They use the special case to undermine the general case.

The Phantom Secure case will be used as another example of why encryption is bad. But the Phantom Secure case is not about privacy or encryption rights or freedom of speech.

If there is even the slightest question that the provider of hardware, software, and any other “wares” knowingly supplies them for assisting the commission of an offence or even suspects that they will be used in one then it is aiding and abetting and all the other bits and pieces that have been included on Mr. Ramos’s much publicised indictment.

References and Bibliography



Mining for Tickets – Touts & Ticket Stealing Bots

My Face Value is preparing for launch on 31st December 2017. To keep up to date with the latest news follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Automated ticket mining bots can get around security measures designed to limit ticket purchases. These bots can hoover up hundreds of tickets within seconds of their release. The tickets then almost immediately appear at vastly inflated prices on resale websites.

In early 2017 Viagogo a secondary ticketing website was accused of “moral repugnance” for reselling tickets to an Ed Sheeran cancer charity gig for up to £5,000. An £85 seat to see Adele at the London O2 in 2016 was reportedly being sold online for £24,840.

The use of bots will soon become a criminal offence as part of a crackdown on resale websites. Touts who use bots to mine for concert tickets before selling them for massive profits – and blocking fans from seeing their favourite artists – will also face unlimited fines.

Ticketing firms must introduce tougher anti-bot measures and stronger enforcement of consumer rights laws. Presently, too much lip service is paid to the problem without any real steps being taken to combat it. 


  • Sky News
  • Sky Sports News


Ticket Resellers, “Legal” Domestic Touts, Illegal Offshore Touts

My Face Value is preparing for launch on 31st December 2017. To keep up to date with the latest news follow us on Facebook and Twitter

It is important that fans understand that there are different types of secondary ticket companies. Some of these outfits have no affiliation with associations, football clubs, or supporters clubs and are often based offshore so that they are not subject to UK law.

The general resale of football tickets in the UK was banned in 1994 because of safety fears over the possibility of rival fans mingling together. Only outlets officially authorised by clubs can offer unwanted seats. But tickets are not always sold at face value on these websites even though they are authorised by a club to act as an authorised ticket reseller. Other clubs do have deals with resellers where tickets cannot be sold for more than face value.

But overseas firms can avoid UK consumer law and the Society of Ticket Agents & Retailers warns the online trade allows unscrupulous firms to “dupe unsuspecting ticket buyers”.

Under UK law, tickets advertised must include the cost and location of seats in the stadium. But during the course of 5 live Investigates research they found many examples where this did not happen or the tickets arrived late. The investigation also found that Premier League tickets with a face value of £23 were being be resold for as much as £130 each.

In a bid to clamp down on illegal trading clubs commenced seizing tickets in recent years.


One firm, Ticketbis, was found to have distributed season tickets and it was also claimed it was reselling tickets associated with people already banned from a stadium. When asked to respond to the allegations, Ticketbis, which is based in Spain, said it is a “secure online platform that works as an intermediary between individuals that want to buy and sell tickets in 40 countries”. The company did not comment on the illegal sale of football tickets.

Acknowledgements & Sources

  • Alistair Magowan, Journalist (Article dated 22nd February 2016)
  • BBC Sport
  • Sky Sport
  • BBC 5 Live Investigates


“The Last Official Buyer Will Be The Only Person Allowed Gain Entry” Rule

My Face Value is preparing for launch on 31st December 2017. To keep up to date with the latest news follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Recently a My Face Value community member asked our customer service team the following question:

“I got scammed today. Sold my ticket to a “mate” he said it was for his girlfriend. I ordered a paper ticket for her to pick up from the ticket office. It got touted for nearly double FV. How will My Face Value be able to stop this from happening?”

The community member asked that their identity not be disclosed but below is what we replied and how My Face Value propose to fight this problem:

We are very sorry to hear that. Its an endemic problem though and not surprising but as you say the “mate” was in quotes. Like all change this will be a gradual process however My Face Value have very specific offers to make to the football clubs with respect to managing the ticketing process and the enforcement of “the ‘last’ official buyer will be the only person allowed to gain entry rule”.

The Interim Solution 

Before the introduction of enforcement measures to ensure that “the ‘last’ official buyer will be the only person allowed to gain entry rule” we have implemented a process of “good standing” in the My Face Value community. While in the interim this will not stop the phenomenon that you describe – it will only allow a “tout” to do it once on our platform.

In parallel with this we have also developed a sophisticated process for “Tout Detection” which is covered briefly in this blog post to prevent the problem from occurring at all – not even once – but in reality one will always slip through from time to time and in those cases we will protect the community from a reoccurrence.

Keeping The My Face Value Community Tout Free 

My Face Value community members (hereafter “CM’s”) are uniquely identified by a combination of their email address and their phone number.

My Face Value CM’s have a “Good Standing” rating based on their activity on site, their BUY / SELL / SWAP order history and performance against other key criteria including pattern matching and algorithms to detect suspicious behaviour. The possible movement of CM’s between states are:

  1. Registered Inactive (No transactions completed);
  2. Registered Active (1 or more transactions completed);
  3. Active Suspended (Pending Appeal) – Marked as engaged in suspicious activity based on profiling and pattern matching and/or reports by other community members;
  4. Banned (Banned for Life) – Appeal denied.

Proposal To Football Clubs For Ticketing Enforcement & Control

In parallel with this My Face Value have developed technology and processes to implement rigorous enforcement and control of “the ‘last’ official buyer will be the only person allowed to gain entry rule” at the turnstiles as follows:

  1. Currently, season ticket holders Terms & Conditions necessitate that unused tickets are returned to the Club if not used and if the holder wishes to have them re-allocated;
  2. In cases where this is not done then the phenomenon that you describe is always possible because of a lack of “Enforcement & Control”.

In partnership with the football clubs My Face Value propose to combat the problem as follows:

  1. When a ticket is sold or swapped in the My Face Value community we will ultimately be seeking permission from the clubs to allocate a NEW ticket;
  2. The re-issued My Face Value ticket will be a mirror image of the original ticket with one significant difference – it will contain information unique to the My Face Value purchaser / swapper – namely an embedded photo, watermarking and a bar code;
  3. In the short term a visual inspection will verify that the person seeking to gain entry is the My Face Value purchaser / swapper;
  4. In the mid term this visual inspection will be augmented with a process where a scanner (which My Face Value will issue to the Clubs) will ensure with 100% certainty that the person seeking entry is the My Face Value purchaser / swapper and that the ticket is not a forgery;
  5. In the event that a “tout” or “forgery” is detected at the turnstiles by our scanners then all associated parties with that ticket will be immediately and automatically placed in the “Active Suspended (Pending Appeal)” Good Standing status on the My Face Value platform;
  6. This process is hugely summarised here to avoid writing a 50 page reply but this is the essence of our approach.

We hope that this answers your question. If you need any further clarifications please email us at and don’t give that “mate” of yours any more tickets!


Appoint My Face Value As Your Official Ticketing & Marketing Agent

My Face Value is preparing for launch on 31st December 2017. To keep up to date with the latest news follow us on Facebook and Twitter. 

My Face Value is not just about giving face value access to the most popular or sold out events and challenging the touts, corporate resale cartels and vested interests. That is only one part of what My Face Value are doing.

All Clubs, not just those who are in the top tiers, have fans who are not locals. Visiting fans who wish to go to games because they are in town. But these fans have a number of barriers to acquiring tickets.

The Club may not offer an online option to purchase tickets for games. The Club ticket shop may only be open for specific and restrictive hours each week. But before even calling the ticket hotline or accessing the Club website the fan must acquire the relevant information.

It can often seem like just a little too much hassle and often times results in lost potential ticket sales.

Focus On Your Strengths

My Face Value are not offering Ticketing Software Solutions that Clubs need to implement or embed in their websites or require any in-house IT skills. Clubs are in the business of football not IT. But if you want us to do that too – then we can and we will.

With My Face Value you do not have to market your website – a tricky exercise and expensive – instead the Club benefits from My Face Value brand awareness and reach. Your ticketing and marketing space on My Face Value will contain all of your own Club branding.

The Go-To Location for Tickets with Killer Features

Some of the killer features that your Club will get with My Face Value Ticketing & Marketing are:

  • Support for Paper and Digital Tickets;
  • Payment Fraud Prevention and Counterfeit Detection & Prevention;
  • Fan Registrations with Opt-In Email;
  • Sell Club Merchandise;
  • Sell Gift Vouchers;
  • Notify fans of Discount Codes to Drive Ticket & Merchandise Sales;
  • Run Fundraisers, Promotions, Competitions & Giveaways;
  • Blog to your Club’s Fan Base;
  • Tracking Your Sales Performance and Benefit From Better Forecasting.

And it’s free with all of the costs picked up by the fan in the form of a small transaction charge. There are no setup fees either.

Your Official Ticketing & Marketing Agent (OTMA) 

Register your interest in appointing My Face Value as your Clubs Official Ticketing & Marketing Agent (OTMA) please email & we will manage everything on your Clubs behalf .


Register Your Club To Use My Face Value Free Of Charge

My Face Value is preparing for launch on 31st December 2017. To keep up to date with the latest news follow us on Facebook and Twitter

What Will My Face Value Do For Your Club?

My Face Value will make our platform available for use by your Club – free of charge – for:

  • Ticketing – Selling Tickets To Your Games
  • Posting Your Fixtures & Results
  • Promotions – Announcing Events & General News
  • Running Competitions & Fundraisers
  • Merchandising – Your Club Shop Online
  • Blogging – Allowing You To Keep Your Fans & Community Informed
  • Other – We will take suggestions for other services that Clubs would like us to consider providing

Why Are My Face Value Doing This?

The My Face Value mission is to remove touts (street level and corporate) from the ticket supply chain.

Touting and ticket price gouging will always exist in one form or another. In time, the positive disruptive activities of My Face Value will make touting far less prevalent and see far less wasted money from honest punters on counterfeit tickets or genuine fans being priced out of attending events.

We need the Clubs support to achieve our goals. Especially around a universally accepted process that governs the secondary ticket market that we want to see operate at Face Value ONLY with NO touting of any kind.

My Face Value is committed to introducing positive change. To demonstrate the My Face Value commitment to the grassroots and the development and promotion of football and fairness at all levels of the game we stated at the outset that we would allow qualifying Clubs access to our platform – free of charge.

By doing so we are giving qualifying Clubs access to world class marketing tools, technology and best practices to promote their Clubs and their Communities.

Who Can Register?

Registration is available to all clubs in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland who do NOT play in the following leagues:

  • English Premier League
  • English Football League Championship
  • English League One
  • English League Two
  • English National League
  • English National League North
  • English National League South
  • Scottish Premiership
  • Scottish Championship
  • Scottish League One
  • Scottish League Two
  • Welsh Premier League
  • NIFL Premiership
  • NIFL Championship
  • League of Ireland Premier Division
  • League of Ireland First Division

To register your interest please email


The My Face Value “Tout Free” Guarantee

My Face Value is preparing for launch on 31st December 2017. To keep up to date with the latest news follow us on Facebook and Twitter

The My Face Value ability to tackle the problem of touts using our community is key to  earning and retaining the trust of the My Face Value community. The algorithms that My Face Value have developed to solve this problem are only one of many unique selling points in the My Face Value promise to genuine fans.

Using Innovative Technology To Beat The Touts

Similar to the auditable Random Number Generator algorithms that our Random Picking Software utilises to ensure fairness & transparency when selecting winners of our competitions & promotions, our approach to Phishing Prevention, Intercept “Man in the Middle” Attacks and our proprietary Automated Tout Detection systems use our own set of proprietary processes and algorithms to keep My Face Value secure and “tout free”.

My Face Value have developed sophisticated mechanisms that protect the data that the My Face Value community entrust us with and prevent the My Face Value community unwittingly assisting touts in their efforts to buy tickets at face value.

Protection from Trolls and Hackers 

My Face Value expects to be the target of concerted campaigns by trolls (on a simplistic level) and hackers (in a sophisticated manner) because My Face Value are dislodging and disrupting a lucrative “street level” business as well as a “respectable” corporate sector who make large amounts of money from ticket touting and price gouging tickets to events.

The first target of these hacks as we see it would be to undermine the trust in the My Face Value community by targeting our community members’ data, in all its forms. But in particular our community members credit card details. Aside from the myriad white-hat hacker tests that we have conducted, our operating systems, applications and network configurations have been comprehensively penetration tested by leaders in the field.

The Safety of Your Data – Security & Encryption 

My Face Value uses security protocols that protect the My Face Value community member from malicious interception attacks. My Face Value use a secure and encrypted connection (HTTPS/SSL) when handling My Face Value community members’ data.

The My Face Value EV SSL certificate offers the highest available levels of trust and authentication to our website. When performing transactions, the green address bar prominently displays our company name and provides highly visual assurance to customers that our site is secure – immediately giving the My Face Value community member the confidence to complete their transaction.

Sensitive Data Storage

For a further level of comfort My Face Value use an external provider with PCI Service Provider Level 1 Certification (the most stringent level of certification) to manage the process of no-hassle security and compliance that meets all PCI-DSS requirements for desktop and mobile transactions [PCI-DSS: The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a proprietary information security standard for organisations that handle branded credit cards from the major card schemes including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and JCB.]

No sensitive data hits the My Face Value servers. To bolster this counter measure My Face Value have added an extra layer of security in the form of Two-Factor Authentication.

Phantom Community Members / Spam Accounts

But how do My Face Value detect touts posing as allegedly legitimate community members and avoid the scenario where the tout uses the My Face Value community as a source of leads to purchase tickets at face value and then tout.

The My Face Value community, without the measures that we have taken, would be a readily available environment with millions of community members which touts could “raid” for tickets.

The Value of Anonymity

This process is outlined in great detail on our website and on our social media pages. But in short, the answer to preventing the use of My Face Value as a ticket sourcing platform for touts is “anonymity”.

The information posted by My Face Value community members in relation to BUY/SELL/SWAP requests is not visible to the My Face Value community. Rather My Face Value store the data and identify matching BUY requests with SELL offers and SWAP requests with SWAP matches.

The relevant My Face Value Community members are then notified simultaneously by email. The email contains a link and when clicked this link will allocate the ticket on a First-Come-First-Served basis to the first My Face Value community member who secures the ticket by making the required payment.

The SELLER / SWAPPERS are then requested to send the ticket(s) to My Face Value for a counterfeit check and thereafter – assuming no issues relating to payment fraud or counterfeiting arise – My Face Value will post the ticket to the BUYER and pay the SELLER or in the case of SWAPS post the tickets to the respective My Face Value community members.

The process is managed from end-to-end by My Face Value to ensure compliance.

Detecting “Organised Touting” in the My Face Value Community

My Face Value will keep the community tout free. The BUY/SELL/SWAP Process is conducted thru a series of simple menu selections. This process is outlined in detail on our website and on our social media pages. Once completed and in order to SUBMIT the information to the My Face Value databases – the My Face Value community member is requested to LOGIN, if they have not already done so, or REGISTER – if they are not an existing My Face Value community member.

Now the science bit – the steps in the REGISTRATION process provide one level of protection against touting – but not enough. Sweat shops exist and the industry (organised crime element) are well capable of setting up hundreds of identities and email addresses using pre-paid cards in an attempt to circumvent this LOGIN or REGISTER Wall counter measure.

Tout Prevention & Community Compliance 

My Face Value have developed systems to encode expertise for detecting touts, in the form of rules. Employing Big Data Analysis / Data Mining to develop community member behaviour patterns and profiles for matching against a baseline to detect deviations and automatic responses / actions or in certain cases issue automated real time notifications to the  My Face Value Tout Prevention & Community Compliance Team for examination (See Level 1-4 below for details on this process).

The My Face Value Pattern Recognition techniques to detect clusters or patterns of suspicious behaviour are automated to ensure scaleability. Machine learning techniques automatically identify the characteristics of touting. The My Face Value algorithms learn suspicious patterns from samples which are then used later to detect breaches.

My Face Value deploy these detection algorithms on a number of levels using statistical techniques and artificial intelligence:

Level 1: Email addresses used by a community member, contact telephone number provided by a community member, frequency and time of day of logins by a community member, number and type of payment instruments used by a community member, transactions levels (numbers of transactions) by a community member, types of transactions conducted by a community member – BUY/SELL/SWAP;

Level 2: Combining source metadata, platform and device usage, IP address, browser type, geo-location (clustering), proxy spoofing and VPN detection to augment the Level 1 data My Face Value hold on behaviour patterns;

Level 3: Cross referencing My Face Value community member profiles with publicly available information on social media accounts for pattern matching and augmenting the community member risk profiling data to augment the Level 1 and Level 2 data;

Level 4: In the event that all the information points to a positive breach of the My Face Value Community Guidelines then the community member will be blocked. In circumstances where the information points to a possible breach of the My Face Value Community Guidelines then the My Face Value Tout Prevention & Community Compliance Team will request identification and documents to prove that the “member” is not a phantom account AND that the documents supplied to vouch for that assertion are genuine.

The My Face Value “Tout Free” Guarantee

By implementing Behaviour Analytics & Profiling with Context Data the My Face Value Machine-Learning Algorithms ensure a tout free environment. These processes reduce to almost zero the ability for touts to engage in the volume transactions that would make the effort commercially viable or feasible.

Whether dealing with touts as individuals or organised gangs their inability to fool the profiling algorithms and/or comply with the My Face Value escalating requests for proof of identity to determine if a suspicious account is in fact a genuine fan will keep our community tout free.

The My Face Value Tout Prevention & Community Compliance Team