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Football fans set to lose £780,000 in ticket scams this year

Football fans set to lose £780,000 in ticket scams this year
Matt Browning
Written By:
Matt Browning

Ahead of the European Championships in Germany this summer, football fans have been warned about a surge in ticket scams.

Last year, football ticket scams rose by 82% compared to in 2022, according to Santander, and the bank has urged fans to be careful ahead of this summer’s tournament.

This is due to the accelerating rate of cases, which will see 1,100 fans lose a total of £780,000 to criminals, according to the bank’s analysis.

Much like the fake tickets sold for the Taylor Swift Eras tour, around two-thirds of the scams involved social media sites Facebook and X, formerly Twitter.

Facebook was the more common channel, accounting for over half (52%) of all ticket scams.

As part of the scam, fraudsters look to take advantage of eager football fans who want to see a match, by advertising a ticket that either doesn’t exist or never arrives.

In 2023, fans reported £113,103 lost to ticket scams, with the most common age group being conned out of a chance to see a game being 19-34-year-olds, with 42% involving that demographic.

The next most frequent age group to be scammed were 35-50-year-olds, accounting for a third (29%) of all ticket scams. To avoid more heartbreak than needed this summer, fans have been told to remain vigilant and only purchase tickets through official channels.

Criminals exploit desperate fans’ excitement

Chris Ainsley, head of fraud risk management at Santander, said: “For many fans, this will be the first Euros since 2016 they can attend due to the pandemic, and with both England and Scotland qualifying, we know many will be desperate to get their hands on tickets to the big games.

“Unfortunately, criminals know this too, and they’ll be looking for ways to exploit fans’ excitement and extort money from them. Avoid scoring an own goal by getting scammed off the pitch – so you can enjoy the action on it.”

The bank has set out five tips for football fans to consider when buying a ticket for Euro 2024 or any other big match during the year.

How to avoid ticket scams this summer

  • Only buy tickets for Euro 2024 directly from UEFA. The ballot and last-minute tickets from UEFA have now all sold out, but UEFA has said that if any further tickets become available, they will be available from the UEFA website directly.
  • Don’t let desperation get the better of you. Whether looking for a ticket now or wanting to join in on the fun later as your team progresses, tickets are now sold out, so don’t let the excitement of the moment make you buy a ticket from a non-legitimate source.
  • Never pay by bank transfer or PayPal friends and family. If you are buying a resale ticket not directly from UEFA, never pay by bank transfer or PayPal friends and family. Opt for safer payment methods, like debit or credit cards.
  • Make sure the website you are buying from is safe. When buying online, check the payment pages are secure by looking for the padlock symbol in the address bar. The website should start with ‘https’.
  • And don’t forget, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.