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Harry Styles and Lewis Capaldi fans scammed by concert conmen

Emma Lunn
Written By:
Emma Lunn

Fans of the two singers were among the most common targeted by fraudsters operating concert ticket scams, according to Lloyds Bank.

People buying tickets to Coldplay and Calvin Harris, and the Reading, Wireless, Parklife and Leeds festivals were also targeted in ticket scams.

There were also big increases in the number of scams relating to bookings for comedy and theatre shows, though the volume of cases for both was much smaller than for gigs.

Lloyds found that the number of scams relating to concert tickets has surged by 529% over the past year, with the typical victim losing £110.

The number of scams reported by those attempting to buy music festival tickets also more than doubled, up by 128% over the past 12 months compared to the previous year.

How a ticket scam works

“Purchase scams” happen when someone is tricked into sending money via bank transfer (also known as a Faster Payment) to buy goods or services that don’t exist.

Ticket scams usually involve fake websites, social media posts or emails offering tickets at discounted prices, or access to events which have already sold out at inflated prices.

Victims are asked to pay upfront for the tickets, but once the payment is made, the scammers disappear. This leaves the buyer without the tickets and out of pocket.

When tickets for an event are scarce, fraudsters know they can cash in on desperate fans willing to pay much more.

Liz Ziegler, fraud prevention director at Lloyds Bank, said: “Fraudsters are always changing their tactics to trick victims out of their hard-earned cash. With demand to attend live events soaring as the warmer weather approaches, they’ll waste no time in targeting music fans as they rush to pick up tickets for the most popular gigs and festivals.

“It’s easy to let our emotions get the better of us when we find out our favourite artist is going to be performing live, but it’s important not to let that excitement cloud our judgement when trying to get hold of tickets.

“Buying directly from reputable, authorised platforms is the only way to guarantee you’re paying for a real ticket. Even then, always pay by debit or credit card for the greatest protection.

“If you’re being asked to pay by bank transfer, particularly from a seller you’ve found on social media, that should immediately set alarm bells ringing.”

How to stay safe when buying tickets

Buy from trusted retailers 

Only purchase tickets from well-known, reputable ticket selling platforms. Take extra precautions when buying tickets from third-party sellers.

Be cautious on social media 

You won’t know if the user profile or tickets are genuine. It’s easy for fraudsters to create fake ads including pictures of real tickets.

Avoid deals that look too good to be true

Tickets for sale at low prices or for sold-out events should ring alarm bells. Ask yourself if the deal seems realistic.

Pay with your debit or credit card 

Bank transfers offer little protection if something goes wrong – paying by card is much better. PayPal is another option that’s usually safer than paying by bank transfer.