It’s nearly festival season and with sporting events such as the World Cup and Commonwealth Games closing in on us, it can be tough to get hold of good tickets at a great price.
While getting your hands on decent tickets is one thing, getting your hands on the real deal is another…
The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) has revealed that ticketing fraud cost victims over £3.7m last year, with holidaymakers, festival and concert goers being the biggest victims of ticket scams during that period. ACPO has called for ticket distributors to work with the police to help tackle the problem.
ACPO reports that ticket fraud is largely low in volume (4555 reports last year), but high in value, meaning that victims can be scammed out of higher amounts than some other types of fraud. Out of 4555 reported cases last year, 22 victims each lost £10,000 or more!
Ticket fraud can relate to a range of activities, including flights, music, sporting and religious events. The nature of the fraud can vary, but the most common scam seems to involve the selling of tickets that don’t exist, and so never materialise.
Read the official ACPO press release on ticketing fraud here .
So how does scam ticketing work?
• The website offers you the chance to buy tickets to a popular event. The event is often actually sold-out, or the tickets haven’t officially gone on sale yet.
• You pay for the tickets but they are never delivered.
• In some cases you might be told that a customer representative will meet you at the venue on the day. Nobody turns up.
• You may even receive tickets, but when you arrive at the event, the organisers tell you the tickets are fake.
• When you try to call the company you bought the tickets from, your calls are not answered or do not connect.
Scammers will attempt to set you up in numerous different ways, and, but we like to think we’ve got you covered. In one of our April newsletters, we covered Typosquatting and Cybersquatting, where the scammers will rely on you making an error when typing in the domain name for the website you intend to access. You can read that article in full here.
How can you get safe online?
• Check with the event organiser, promoter or venue how and when tickets are being distributed.
• Check where the company’s office is and whether they have a landline in this country and a proper address rather than a PO Box.
• Check online if there is adverse criticism of the company.
• Ask questions, such as when the ticket will be dispatched and what type of ticket you are buying.
• Read the terms and conditions on all but particularly not known websites (some ticket websites state quite clearly that there are no refunds).
• If you’re buying football tickets, be aware that it’s illegal to re-sell football tickets under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act in most instances.
• Pay for tickets by credit card – the card issuer is jointly liable for a failure for goods or services to be provided as long as the price of a single ticket is more than £100 (but less than £30,000) but check with your card provider how long the period of liability is if the event is further ahead.
• Check the payment pages are secure by looking for a padlock symbol in the address bar, and making sure the website address begins with ‘https’.
Last but not least, if you think you have been scammed, contact Action Fraud now.