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Ticket to nowhere: don't get ticked off with ticket fraud this summer

Action Fraud is warning people to be wary of scammers while searching for the best deals on tickets for this summer’s biggest events.

Action Fraud, the national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime, is warning the public to be careful when buying tickets for a range of sport, music and comedy events, as new figures reveal over £6.7 million was lost to ticket fraud in 2022.

Pauline Smith, Head of Action Fraud, said:

“Action Fraud has seen a rise in ticket fraud over the past twelve months, as criminals take advantage of people wanting to enjoy more live sport and music.

“We urge people to be wary of ticket sales from unknown websites or people they do not know. Criminals may offer deals on sold-out or exclusive events, however once you have parted with your money, the tickets are either fraudulent or never appear at all.

“Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

The national awareness campaign, launched today (Monday 10 April 2023), comes after Action Fraud received 7,088 reports of ticket fraud in 2022, as the UK enjoyed the first full summer free of Covid-19 restrictions.

One of the worst-impacted months was July 2022, with 747 reported cases of fraud resulting in £957,887.23 of losses – an average of £1,282 per victim. The worst affected area for ticket fraud was London, with a recorded 1,887 cases in 2022, followed by Greater Manchester with 383 reports and West Midlands with 341.

Action Fraud is working with the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (STAR) to promote the safe and secure purchasing of tickets to summer events, and advises the public follow the appropriate precautionary measures.

Jonathan Brown, Chief Executive of Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers, said:

“Buying from a STAR member means you are buying from an authorised ticket supplier signed up to our strict code of practice. While we hope you never have to use it, this also gets you access to our approved Alternative Dispute Resolution service.

“The UK offers a world-beating array of fabulous events throughout the year. It’s vital that ticket buyers always keep their eyes open and take steps to protect themselves from unscrupulous ticket sellers that prey on their understandable excitement about attending some of the great events on offer.”

How to protect yourself from ticket fraud:

  • Only buy tickets from the venue’s box office, official promoter or agent, or a well-known ticketing website.
  • Avoid paying for tickets by bank transfer, especially if buying from someone unknown. Credit card or payment services such as PayPal give you a better chance of recovering the money if you become a victim of fraud.
  • The password you use for your email account, as well as any other accounts you use to purchase tickets, should be different from all your other passwords. Use three random words to create a strong and memorable password, and enable 2-step verification (2SV).
  • Be wary of unsolicited emails, texts or adverts offering unbelievably good deals on tickets.
  • Is the vendor a member of STAR? If they are, the company has signed up to their strict governing standards. STAR also offers an approved Alternative Dispute Resolution service to help customers with outstanding complains. For more information visit

Criminals often use social media or scam emails to tempt potential victims into parting with personal information or money. These messages look real, but instead divert to malicious websites which can infect your computer with malware.

The message may appear genuine and from a company or individual that you recognise but do not usually receive communications from. If you feel at all suspicious, report the email to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS) at [email protected]. Your report will help us protect many more people from falling victim.

Action Fraud also advises that the public follow the Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign advice to keep themselves safe from fraud:

  • Stop: taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe.
  • Challenge: could it be fake? It’s ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
  • Protect: if you think you’ve been a victim of fraud, contact your bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud online at or by calling 0300 123 2040.

For more advice on how to stay secure online, please visit

If you have fallen victim to ticket fraud or any other scam, please report to Action Fraud at or by calling 0300 123 2040. In Scotland, you can report to Police Scotland on 101.

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