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Stay safe from ticket fraudsters

Posted on 9th June 2016

Hello and welcome to my latest blog post.

With the summer months rapidly approaching, I will be sharing my top tips to help you stay safe from ticket fraud whilst you enjoy planning a summer of activities.

Did you know that online ticket fraud rose by 55% in 2015? - Costing the UK public £5.2 million.

If you are planning on booking that dream summer holiday or looking for tickets for that sold out festival or football match, it may be tempting to head online for a last minute deal. Stop, take a moment, and check the facts to help you stay safe from cybercriminals.

So what is ticket fraud? Essentially, ticket fraud takes place when you are scammed into buying fake or non-existent tickets.

How does this work? Well, people generally head online to get the cheapest deal and may find themselves straying from the official sites. They may also be looking for a last minute deal where they are whipped into a frenzy looking for a ticket for that sold out show or match. Fraudsters take advantage of this by selling non-existent tickets or by advertising holidays at a price that is too good to miss.

How does this affect me? You may or may not be one of those two types of people mentioned above, however if you are you may be considering looking for cheaper tickets elsewhere other than the official site, such as social media sites. Social media is being increasingly used by criminals to facilitate ticket fraud. “21% of crimes relating to ticket fraud were instigated via Facebook and 6% on Twitter. 22% of reported incidents took place on Gumtree” – Action Fraud UK.

But I’m really desperate! I really want to go and see… and I’ve seen an advert for it on social media. Surely they can’t be all that bad?!
Can you imagine the shock of arriving at a venue to see your favourite band or football team for you to only be turned away at the door because your ticket didn’t register? Imagine the pain of packing your bag, desperate to get away on holiday only to turn up at the airport to find your flight tickets were non-existant… I’m sure you get the idea.

How can I protect myself from ticket fraud? Here are some simple yet effective tips from Get Safe Online:

  • Check with the event organiser, promoter or venue how and when tickets are being distributed and only purchase from reputable sources;
  • 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’.

Thank you for reading my blog post, if you have any cyber concerns or would like advice on an issue, let me know by contacting me on Twitter (@DigitalPCSO) or by sending me a message online using the Contact Us section of our website here - It could be our next blog post!


Do you need a quick answer to a general question? Then we recommend you visit the national Ask The Police web site.