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Fraudulent ticket warning

Thousands of music fans will fall foul of online ticketing fraud and not make it through the gates. Last year millions of pounds were reported lost to fraudsters using fancy websites and sharp sales techniques.

You book concert tickets but they don’t arrive before the big day and you realise something is up. Or if you do receive your tickets, they may not be genuine. Non-profit awareness organisation getsafeonline.org and the City of London Police’s National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) suggest that near half (46 per cent) of fraudulent tickets were bought online, and three quarters (75pc) of all victims first made contact with fraudsters on the internet.

Victims then went on to either purchase tickets online or in person. The festival season is the worst time for ticket scams, with the peak months for the reporting of ticket fraud offences in 2012 being July and August, and many of these reported ticket crimes were for music events. Also: 39pc of victims of ticket fraud have each lost between £50 and £200; and 30pc of victims are aged between 21-30 years old

What they say

Tony Neate, CEO, getsafeonline.org, said: ‘Criminals have a captured market of fans that will do anything to get a ticket, which makes festivals and concerts a prime target for fraud. It’s incredibly frustrating for many festival goers, especially if they’ve waited months for the event. Get Safe Online is concerned to see such a high proportion of these figures relating to online fraud. There are some simple steps that can be taken to protect you from fraud and we would urge the public to be cautious when spending money on tickets as we head towards the summer months.’

Brigitte Ricou-Bellan, GM International, StubHub, said: ‘As a company that is dedicated to serving fans and providing access to the best in live entertainment, we know that refusal at the gate is the worst experience a fan can have – particularly if a fraudulent ticket means they don’t get in. StubHub has stringent listing criteria for sellers on our site which means there is no incentive to list fraudulent tickets. Furthermore we back every ticket on the site with our FanProtect Guarantee which ensure you get the ticket you paid for, in time for the event or comparable replacements. Where we cannot offer replacements, we give you a full refund. With StubHub, pricing is clear and transparent – you won’t be asked to pay a penny more than the price you first see on the site and we manage the process from both sides to protect both the buyer and the seller. We would urge fans of live entertainment and events to always shop safely online and only go through trusted sites which offer good customer service, secure payment methods and full consumer protection.’

Jamey Johnson, Head of Action Fraud, said: ‘To avoid disappointment, anyone wanting to buy tickets for an event should only buy them from trusted websites and check that the website’s url is that of the legitimate ticket seller. If you’re in any doubt at all then call the company on a known phone number instead. Be very wary of ticket offers for ‘sold out’ events as these situations are exploited by fraudsters, and if you’re unsure then leave the website immediately. If you have lost money to a ticket scam, report it to Action Fraud and help the police identify the fraudsters behind these scams.’

Luke Todd, Head of Customer Operations at Gumtree.com, said: ‘We take fraud very seriously and do everything in our power to keep scammers off our site. However we know that some people can be very devious and target fans that are desperate to see their favourite acts play – so we’d urge everyone to always carry out basic checks before buying tickets online and handing over money. One of the key points to remember is that if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.’

Consumer Advice:

Getsafeonline.org is urging festival goers and music fans to be vigilant when purchasing tickets and has the following advice for consumers to follow:

Buy tickets only from the venue box office, promoter, official agent or reputable ticket exchange sites. In the event that you choose to buy tickets from an individual (for example on eBay or a fan site), never transfer the money directly into their bank account but use a secure payment site such as PayPal, where money is transferred between two electronic accounts. Paying by credit card offers better protection than with other methods in terms of fraud, guarantees and non-delivery – so if you’ve got one, and the seller accepts it, use it. Before entering payment details check the link is secure. There should be a padlock symbol in the browser window frame (not the page itself), and the web address should being with ‘https://’. The ‘s’ stands for ‘secure’. Do not reply to unsolicited emails from sellers you don’t recognise. If you think you have been a victim of fraud you should report it to Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud reporting centre by calling 0300 123 20 40 or by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk


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