Buying tickets this summer? Be safe, not sorry.

As we all know, you have to act quickly to buy tickets for festivals, concerts, major sporting fixtures and other popular events, otherwise you’ll be disappointed.

For many people who aren’t lucky enough to secure tickets from the official ticketing site or venue, the first port of call is StubHub … more of which below.

Other fans, however, frequently resort to fan sites, forums and perfectly legit advertising and auction sites to look for their tickets. The majority of people who dispose of tickets via these sites are decent and honest, but there are those whose sole intent is to cheat hard-working fans out of both their money and the chance to attend the gig or game.

The typical process that we hear about time after time, is for the fraudster to contact the buyer saying he or she has the tickets they want, agree the price and ask for the payment to be transferred into his or her bank account. “We don’t accept payment cards,” “I live 400 miles away so can’t meet you in person” or “I’m going to be away between now and the event” are typical excuses for requesting this method of payment. Get Safe Online spoke to some victims and their stories can be found by clicking here.

Of course, desperate fans will do anything to secure the tickets, including paying for them by probably the least secure method known to man. The possible result? No tickets and no money back.

Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud reporting centre, received over 3,700 reports of ticket fraud offences last year, amounting to losses of around £2.7 million to unsuspecting victims. 46% of these originated online, and 75% of the victims reckoned that websites were the most common way that contact was made between them and the scammer. The figures were supplied to Get Safe Online by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB).  

So the first rule of thumb is: never pay by bank transfer unless you have the tickets in your hand, made sure that they’re authentic and can be transferred to you without any problems (Glastonbury is a fine case in point of where you can’t pass on the tickets to someone else).

You could always consider using StubHub, the world’s biggest ticket marketplace, owned by eBay. With StubHub, there’s no risk, because its FanProtect guarantee ensures that your tickets will be authentic and valid for entry to every event. Sellers understand and agree that if the tickets they sell don’t allow entry into the event, they’ll be charged for any payment received, and any costs StubHub incurs to get its buyers into the event. If they don’t confirm the sale in 48 hours, the buyer can back out and request a refund. Any problems, and the site will find comparable replacement tickets, or refund the money. And payment is via PayPal, so it’s secure. StubHub are kindly joining our Twitter chat on safe ticket buying this evening.

For more information about buying tickets safely online, visit Get Safe Online’s advice pages. There’s a host of free, impartial, practical advice on everything else you do online too. 

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