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Ticket fraud

What it is

When you buy tickets from a website 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

  • Do your research about the company before you buy. Read the terms and conditions; do they offer refunds?  Check when the ticket will be sent and the  type of ticket you’re buying.
  • 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’.
  • Have a look at the artist’s or event’s official website first; it should tell you which of their dates are sold out or going on sale, and name their chosen ticket supplier.

Spot the signs

  • It’s a company you’ve never heard of and their office is in an unusual location, or they use a PO box rather than an actual address, or they don’t list a landline phone number.
  • Their website’s design is poor quality, their spelling or grammar is poor or they don’t accept credit or debit cards as payment.
  • The payment pages aren’t secure; look for a padlock symbol in the address bar, and make sure the website address begins with ‘https’.

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

Report it to us online or call 0300 123 2040.