Warning for music and sports fans after ticket scam victims lost £365 each last year
Action Fraud says it received 4,755 reports of ticket fraud last year, with the average victim losing £365 each.
Fraudsters pose as a website or agent for a music concert or festival, or sporting event, meaning victims purchase tickets that either don’t arrive or turn out to be fake.
Director of Action Fraud, Pauline Smith, said: “Fraudsters take advantage when music and sports fans are keen to get tickets for high profile events. This is why it’s so important that people are vigilant and aware that there are fraudsters all over the globe trying to make money out of innocent victims.”
Fans are being urged to only buy tickets from an official event organiser or website. If they are tempted to buy from a secondary ticket source, they should always research the company or the person online first.
They are also advised to check there is a landline phone number and a full postal address for any website they are buying tickets from.
They should avoid using a site if there is only a PO Box address and mobile phone number, as it could be difficult to get in touch after they buy tickets. PO box addresses and mobile phone numbers are easy to change and difficult to trace.
Jonathan Brown, Chief Executive of Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (STAR) said: “Buying from a STAR member means you are buying from an authorised ticket supplier signed up to our strict code of practice. While we hope you never have to use it, this also gets you access to our approved Alternative Dispute Resolution service.”
How to avoid a scam
- Only buying tickets from the venue’s box office, official promoter or agent, or a well-known and reputable ticket exchange site;
- Avoiding paying for tickets by bank transfer, especially if buying from someone unknown. Credit card or payment services such as PayPal offer greater protections against fraud;
- Being wary of unsolicited emails, texts or adverts offering unbelievably good deals on tickets. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is;
- Is the vendor a member of STAR? If they are, the company has signed up to their strict governing standards. STAR also offers an approved Alternative Dispute Resolution service to help customers with outstanding complaints. STAR has also published an online guide to buying tickets safely which can be found at star.org.uk/buy_safe