At least three cases involving a total of 29,000 fraudulent vouchers or fraudulent promises for tickets for the Oberammergau Passion Play have been uncovered, according to the Mayor of Oberammergau, Clement Fend.
"We think that we now have the bulk of the problem in hand," he added.The daylong pageant depicting the Easter story is performed in the Bavarian village the first year of every decade.
In an effort to prohibit the printing of fraudulent tickets this year, officials in Oberammergau allowed travel agencies and tour organizations to issue vouchers for tickets to be picked up in Oberammergau.
A total of 450,000 legitimate vouchers, 40 percent to foreign countries, were issued for the 98 performances from May 21 to Sept. 30.
About 300,000 tickets were combined with overnight stays and meals as packages.
The frauds involved a hotel owner in Oberammergau who promised 19,000 tickets he did not have to two travel agencies in London, and a travel agency in Innsbruck who distributed 10,000 fraudulent vouchers to other agencies.
Fend said he had no knowledge of fraudulent vouchers going to agencies in the United States, but advised travelers wanting to confirm a voucher's validity to call the community's tourist office, the Verkehrsburo der Gemeinde Oberammergau at 1021 (the area code for Oberammergau is 8822).