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Ticket fraud

What it is

When you buy tickets from a website or agent for a music concert or festival, a sporting contest such as a football match or rugby tournament, or a live comedian or performer, but the tickets either don’t arrive or turn out to be fake and you aren’t refunded.

Protect yourself

  • Only buy tickets from the venue’s box office, the promoter, an official agent or a well-known and reputable ticket exchange site.
  • Should you choose to buy tickets from an individual (for example on eBay or on a social media), never transfer the money directly into their bank account but use a secure payment site such as PayPal.
  • Paying for your tickets by credit card will offer increased protection over other payments methods, such as debit card, cash, or money transfer services. Avoid making payments through bank transfer or money transfer services, as the payment may not be recoverable.

Spot the signs

Check the contact details of the site you’re buying the tickets from. There should be a landline phone number and a full postal address. Avoid using the site if there is only a PO box address and mobile phone number, as it could be difficult to get in touch after you buy tickets. PO box addresses and mobile phone numbers are easy to change and difficult to trace.
Before entering any payment details on a website, make sure the web address starts with https (the ‘s’ stands for secure). There should be That there is a locked padlock icon in the browser’s address bar.
Is the vendor a member of Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (STAR)? If they are, you're buying from a company that has signed up to their strict governing standards. STAR also offers a service to help customers with outstanding complaints.

How it happens

You may find a website advertised via email or social media offering you the chance to buy tickets to a popular event.

Fraudsters create their own bogus ticket retail companies; their websites are easy to make and look genuine. Some even use a name or website address very similar to a legitimate ticket sales website.

This is a form of phishing; fraudsters take advantage of the huge demand for the most popular events. The tickets they’re advertising have either already sold out, or haven’t officially gone on sale yet, but their website claims to have tickets available. In some instances the event they’re promoting doesn’t even exist.

You pay for the tickets, but they aren’t delivered. In some cases you may be told that a customer representative will meet you at the venue on the day to give you your ticket, but nobody turns up. You may even get the tickets in the post or print off an e-ticket, 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 aren’t answered or you’re told the company doesn’t provide refunds.

If you’re buying football tickets, it’s illegal for anyone to re-sell them in most instances.

How to report it

If Fraud has been committed report it to Action Fraud. For more advice and to raise any concerns, contact the Office of the Public Guardian.

Source - Action Fraud

Date Published: Nov 13, 2019

Types of fraud

A-Z of fraud

To help understand which fraud you've been affected by, we've categorised them into an alphabetical list.

What is fraud and cyber crime?

Fraud is when trickery is used to gain a dishonest advantage, which is often financial, over another person.

Advance fee fraud

Advance fee fraud is when fraudsters target victims to make advance or upfront payments for goods, services and/or financial gains that do not materialise.

Corporate fraud

Corporate fraud can be any fraud committed against a business.

Individual fraud

Individual fraud could be any fraud that targets a person directly. Individual frauds can differ from frauds affecting businesses and other organisations.

Online fraud

Some fraudsters rely on the internet to commit their crimes. Learn about some different types of internet frauds that and how to protect yourself and get safe online.

Identity fraud and identity theft

Identity theft is when your personal details are stolen and identity fraud is when those details are used to commit fraud.
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