June 8th 2016
With only two days to go until the opening ceremony of the UEFA EURO 2016 finals, the City of London Police is launching a campaign called #RedCardtoCrime to tackle online ticketing fraud, anti-social behaviour and the sale of counterfeit goods.
The month-long campaign warns people about different crimes types associated with the tournament by bringing together the expertise of the City of London Police, which is the national policing lead for fraud. Action Fraud is also warning members of the public about the risks of buying last minute tickets for the tournament as they are likely to be fraudulent. So far Action Fraud has received 35 reports of ticket fraud related to this year’s tournament.
In 2015 online ticket fraud increased by 55% with major sporting events accounting for over a quarter of these offences.
Counterfeit websites taken down
The Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) is coordinating the disruption of counterfeit websites selling fake UEFA products and associated branded sportswear. Since its launch in September 2013, PIPCU has taken down over 10,000 counterfeit sites, of which the vast majority are sportswear related. With items such as footwear and clothing remaining as the most counterfeited goods, PIPCU is working closely with sports brands and internet registrars to identify infringing websites and protect online consumers.
City of London Police Commissioner Ian Dyson QPM said: “We are launching our #RedCardtoCrime campaign in order to raise awareness of the range of crimes people may fall victim to in the run up to and during the tournament. We are providing people with useful tips to ensure their personal safety, whilst watching the games and purchasing tickets and merchandise online.
A UEFA spokesperson said: “UEFA would like to emphasise that secondary market ticket resale is strongly condemned by UEFA and we are working with lawyers and authorities to minimise its scale. We are constantly monitoring unauthorised resale channels and evaluating our legal grounds to take action. UEFA has been very active in trying to take down sites and are working with the police and other authorities to try and protect the public. We very much appreciate the efforts of the City of London Police and we will continue to work together for the benefit of the fans unaware of risks associated with the secondary market ticket resale.”
To report a fraud and receive a police crime reference number, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use their online fraud reporting tool.