The national police lead on economic crime has revealed that ticketing fraud cost victims over £3.7m last year and called for ticket distributors to work with police to tackle it.
Commander Stephen Head of City of London police was speaking as the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) launches a focus week on ticketing fraud that will run from Thursday, May 15 to Thursday, May 22.
Ticket fraud can relate to flights as well as music, sporting or religious events. These tickets are sold to victims, and then the tickets do not arrive or turn out to be fake.
The total value of reported ticket fraud in 2013 was just over £3,700,000, with 4,555 reports. Flights and concerts are the two main ticket types sold fraudulently, with 22% of all reports relating to tickets for flights, and 25% relating to tickets for concerts or festivals.
Making life difficult for fraudsters
Commander Stephen Head (City of London Police) says: “Year on year, fraudsters are conning the ticketing-buying public out of more and more of their hard-earned cash. Millions of pounds were lost last year and millions more could go the same way in 2014.”
“The key to avoiding the conmen and securing that ‘golden ticket’ is to only buy from a venue’s box office, promoter, official agent or reputable ticket exchange website. Taking a punt on an unofficial seller, be it over the internet or face-to-face, is just not worth the risk.”
“Making life more difficult for fraudsters demands a well-coordinated approach from policing across the country, but must also be a priority for ticket distributers. I am calling on the industry to take a long hard look at the way tickets are sometimes sold in this country to ensure their processes are as resilient as they possibly can be to the growing threat of fraud.”
Research by the City of London Police’s National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) showed that fraudsters worked through autumn and winter to prepare for the summer festivals. One fraudster said, “After six months hard work, I sat back and let the money roll in.”
During the week of action, operational activity will take place in targeted hotspots around the country.To report a fraud and receive a police crime reference number, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online fraud reporting tool.