Ticket fraud soaring as festival season begins

Hundreds of ticket fraud complaints this month alone, according to Action Fraud.

If you are heading to an event this summer be sure to double check your tickets are legitimate. Ticket fraud is on the rise with Action Fraud receiving 533 complaints relating to gigs, concerts and sporting events this month alone.

As summer gets going, more and more of us will head to outdoor ticketed events, and as a result reports of ticket fraud rise. In 2014 33% of crime reports related to ticket fraud occurred in May, June and July.

Hundreds of music fans have been left out of pocket this month after buying tickets for performances by Taylor Swift, Fleetwood Mac and Ed Sheeran through Circle Tickets. Customers parted with hundreds of pounds, but the tickets never arrived and the company’s website is no longer operating. Of the 533 reports Action Fraud received this month, a whopping 228 relate to Circle Tickets.

The company is now being investigated.

How to protect yourself

If you are buying tickets there are a number of steps you can take to make sure you buy the genuine article:

  • Only buy tickets from the venue’s box office, promoter, an official agent or reputable ticket exchange sites.
  • Pay by credit card. Purchases of over £100 enjoy protection from Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. If your ticket turns out to be fraudulent or fails to turn up you can claim back your money from your credit card provider. For more read How Section 75 can protect you.
  • Double check all the details before you hit the payment button.
  • Don’t reply to unsolicited emails from ticket sellers you have never heard of.

Check websites

Another thing to watch out for is that any website you use to buy tickets from is genuine. Put your payment details into a dodgy website and you could find yourself seriously out of pocket. There are some simple steps to check whether a website is the real deal.

When you reach the stage of putting your payment details in, check the following:

  • Make sure there is a padlock symbol in the browser window frame. This shows it is a secure web page. The symbol needs to be in the frame not on the page itself.
  • The web address should begin with “https://”. The ‘s’ stands for secure.
  • Most up-to-date browsers will turn the address bar green if it is a secure site.

If you think you have been caught out by ticket fraudsters report your case to Action Fraud online or call 0300 123 2040.


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