Posted on 9th June 2015
As we head into summer, people are getting prepared for a jam-packed few months of festivals, sporting events, concerts and of course holidays, however this can be a prime time for fraudsters.
Derbyshire Constabulary is teaming up with Get Safe Online to urge consumers to be careful around this time of year in light of new figures from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB).
The report revealed that 33% of crime reports that related to ticket fraud in 2014 happened in the months May, June and July. This is largely due to the number of UK festivals and high-profile concerts taking place during these months, giving ticket fraudsters far more opportunities to strike.
Although overall levels of ticket fraud have dipped 11% since 2013, a staggering total of £3.35 million was still lost to ticket fraud in 2014, with victims losing on average £250 each. In 2014 there was also a 6% rise in teenagers being targeted by ticket scams, going hand in hand with an increase of social media sites being used by suspects to facilitate ticket fraud.
Tony Neate, CEO of Get Safe Online said: "It can sometimes be tempting to buy from sources other than official websites if you're desperate to get tickets to see your favourite band this summer. Unfortunately, the nature of ticket fraud means the higher the demand for an event, the higher number of potential victims the fraudsters can target.
"Contact via the internet is ideal for these criminals as they are able to use pre-existing websites or fan forums to help them appear legitimate, or in fact mimic genuine websites to help them dupe their victims into handing over money.
"E-ticketing fraud is also an increasing threat. Although convenient for people, it is much easier for offenders to copy and sell multiple tickets that you think are genuine, yet when you attend the event, the ticket is no longer valid as someone has already been submitted. Unfortunately, as these stats highlight, we are seeing more and more cases of teenagers falling victim, stressing the importance of making sure children are aware of these sorts of scams from a young age."
Detective Inspector Rob King, Head of the Derbyshire Economic Crime Unit added: "Although overall levels of ticket fraud has fallen, more younger people are becoming victims of this crime as social media becomes more central when selling tickets.
"Thankfully there are many steps that can be taken to help to protect you against ticket fraudsters, such as ensuring that tickets are only purchased from a venue box office, official agent or reputable website, and the website is genuine and secure.
"Always double check all details of your ticket purchase before confirming payment, and remember, paying by credit card offers you greater protection against fraudsters.
"If you are unsure and a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Listen to your instincts and protect yourself from cyber criminals."
Other crime prevention advice includes:
- Do not reply to unsolicited emails from sellers you don't recognise;
- Before entering payment card details on a website, ensure that the link is secure, in three ways:
- There should be a padlock symbol in the browser window frame, which appears when you attempt to log in or register. Be sure that the padlock is not on the page itself ... this will probably indicate a fraudulent site.
- The web address should begin with 'https://'. The 's' stands for 'secure'.
- If using the latest version of your browser, the address bar or the name of the site owner will turn green.
- Ensure any third-party payment services (such as WorldPay) are secure before you make your payment
- Safeguard and remember the password you have chosen for the extra verification services used on some websites, such as Verified by Visa
- In the event that you choose to buy tickets from an individual (for example on eBay), 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
- Always log out of sites into which you have logged in or registered details. Simply closing your browser is not enough to ensure privacy
- Keep receipts
- Check credit card and bank statements carefully after ticket purchase to ensure that the correct amount has been debited, and also that no fraud has taken place as a result of the transaction
- Ensure you have effective and updated internet security software and firewall running before you go online
- Watch out for e-ticketing fraud, whereby offenders can sell multiple tickets online that appear legitimate yet when you attend the event, the ticket is invalid as someone has already been admitted
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. For further advice on how to stay safe online go to www.GetSafeOnline.org