Nas, Portishead, Chili Peppers Fans Ripped Off By Scams

Buyer, beware: a rash of rip-offs has been plaguing music fans this week from Florida to Moscow to New Hampshire.

In Gainesville, Florida, a concert purported to be featuring rapper Nas was advertised on a local radio station. After 200 tickets had been sold at $25 a pop, the show was revealed to be a hoax. UPI reported that Gainesville Police are investigating promoter Duck Down Entertainment. A spokesperson for the radio station told UPI that it would be researching its ads more thoroughly in the future.

In one of the more unusual scams, a "rare release" by Portishead turned out to be by a completely different band. Internet fan sites were buzzing with reports that a Portishead album titled "Pearl" was making the rounds in Moscow sporting professional artwork, the Go! Beat label logo, and a Portishead copyright statement, dated 1999. The group itself soon posted a notice on its official Web site denying that the record was Portishead or any of its members. Apparently the

packages contained relabeled copies of the 1998 release "Empathy" by the group Mandalay.

And In Nashua, New Hampshire, roughly 100 gullible fans paid over $30 a piece for tickets to a Red Hot Chili Peppers show supposedly being staged at the local Holiday Inn. MTV's sister station VH1 reports that the man responsible for the scam, Dante Baker, told his marks that the concert was to raise money for a children's charity.

However, reports that the band will be making an appearance on a Toronto street later this week are true. According to the Chili Peppers' official Web site (redhotchilipeppers.com), the band will be setting up in front of an HMV store in downtown Toronto on Thursday afternoon at 1 PM (ET). The concert is free, and no tickets or passes are required.