ActionFraud - National Fraud & Cyber Crime Reporting Centre - Call 0300 123 2040

Threat to music fans from criminal cyber gangs

Get Safe Online is predicting a huge rise in online ticket scams over the summer months as the festival and concert season provides rich pickings for organised gangs of cyber criminals.


Figures from a Get Safe Online Survey suggest that more than one in ten people (or their friends or family) have already been a victim of an online ticketing scam.

According to Get Safe Online, the UK’s national internet security initiative, online scammers are going to increasing effort to dupe consumers into visiting fake ticketing websites, running their operations as ‘businesses’ and willing to make up front investments for high returns. For example, cyber criminals will often pay for search advertising (e.g. Google AdWords) so that their fake sites appear at the top of event search results. They are also known to enlist professional web designers so that their sites appear genuine.

Desperate fans must not be tempted

With 38% of people turning to the internet with the purpose of getting hold of tickets to sold-out events, criminals also play on the emotions of those desperate to see their favourite artists. One method used by scammers is to target music fan websites and forums and other social networking sites. Posts will be displayed from ‘fans’ claiming they have bought tickets from a certain site, encouraging those not yet successful in obtaining tickets to visit it. More consumers are then driven to the fake site and more genuine fans fall for the scam.

Ticket scams offer high returns for fraudsters

The internet is the number one place for consumers to purchase tickets to events due to its convenience, with 52% choosing to obtain tickets via generalist ticketing websites rather than direct from the organiser. However, with almost a quarter of victims losing between £100 and £200 it is vital for internet users to be on their guard.

City of London Police has recently launched an investigation into a major ticket fraud, arresting a man linked to a site that it believes was selling non-existent ‘Take That’ tickets. Several hundred fans were tricked into parting with their money and missing out on their chance to see the concert.

If you have been the victim of an online ticketing scam, report it to Action Fraud.

Read more about Get Safe Online’s warning on Get Safe Online’s website.

Get Safe Online has also produced a film about ticketing scams.

Please note: Action Fraud is not responsible for the content on external websites.

To report a fraud, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online fraud reporting tool.

See also:
Ticketing fraud arrest
Fraud Alert - Ticket Index website
Online shopping fraud

Most shared articles

Related articles