Four Essential Steps for Avoiding Ticket Fraud

Terry Rosoman | Posted on Tue 11 June 2019 at 9.00AM
Categories: News

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Action Fraud is partnering with the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (STAR) to urge people to avoid fraud by taking more care when buying tickets for live events.


  • Between 1 April 2018 and 30 April 2019, Action Fraud received 4,755 reports of ticket fraud.
  • The total reported losses to victims was £1,654,888: an average of £365 per victim.
  •  With lots of music concerts and sporting events taking place in summer, it is an opportunity for fraudsters to take advantage of unsuspecting fans.
  • New awareness campaign launched with Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (STAR) to encourage informed purchases from authorised sellers.
  • TicketSource is recognised as a registered ticket distributor with STAR

Fraudsters will pose as a website or agent for a music concert or festival, a sporting contest, or a live comedian or performer, meaning victims will purchase tickets that either doesn’t arrive or turn out to be fake. So, consumers should always check the contact details of the site they’re buying the tickets from.

Last Year, Action Fraud received 4,755 reports of ticket fraud, a decrease of almost a third from the 6,486 reports received in the previous 12 months. It is likely that this was as a result of an increased number of alerts issued that warned people about fraudulent tickets, especially ahead of the World Cup in 2018.

However, there was a spike in reporting in August 2018, in which 539 reports were made. This suggests that fraudsters took advantage of people during the peak season for ticketed events such as music festivals.

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.

“To avoid disappointment, always buy tickets from an official event organiser or website and if you are tempted to buy from a secondary ticket source, always research the company or the person online before making the purchase.

“If you think you have been a victim of ticket fraud, report it to Action Fraud.”

Jonathan Brown, Chief Executive of Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers added:

“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.

“Today’s highly sobering figures reveal that, although most of us think we can spot a scam, in fact, victims of unscrupulous ticket dealers come from all walks of life. Younger people are especially affected – prompting us to launch a bold new campaign with Action Fraud to reach this market.”

Here are steps people are advised they can take in order to protect themselves, including:

  1. Purchase From Reputable Source
    Only buy tickets from the venue’s box office, official promoter or agent, or a well-known and reputable ticket exchange site.
                           
  2. Use a Credit Card or PayPal
    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;

  3. Be Wary of Amazing Deals
    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;

  4. 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 www.star.org.uk/buy_safe



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