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Fraudulent tickets cost Brits £2.7 million in 2012

Heading to a music festival in July or August? Aged between 21-30 years old? YOU are most likely to be a victim of ticket fraud.

June 25, 2013 – LONDON – You’ve waited months to see your favourite band play, your bags are packed and you are ready to head off for a weekend of fun. However, it’s not until your ticket doesn’t arrive just before the big day that you realise something is up. Or if you do receive your tickets, they may not be the genuine article. Much to the disappointment of music and sports fans, new figures show that fraudulent tickets cost the nation an eye watering £2.7 million in 2012.
The findings from non-profit awareness organisation and the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) not only reveal that 46% of fraudulent tickets were bought online, but three quarters (75%) of all victims first made contact with fraudsters on the internet. Victims then went on to either purchase tickets online or in person.
Unsurprisingly, the festival season is the worst time for ticket scams, with the peak months for the reporting of ticket fraud offences in 2012 being July and August, and a high proportion of these reported ticket crimes were for music events.
Further statistics show that:
-  39% of victims of ticket fraud have each lost between £50 and £200
-  46% of all fraudulent tickets are purchased online
-  30% of victims are aged between 21-30 years old
‘Criminals have a captured market of fans that will do anything to get a ticket, which makes festivals and concerts a prime target for fraud,’ said Tony Neate, CEO, ‘It’s incredibly frustrating for many festival goers, especially if they’ve waited months for the event. Get Safe Online is concerned to see such a high proportion of these figures relating to online fraud. There are some simple steps that can be taken to protect you from fraud and we would urge the public to be cautious when spending money on tickets as we head towards the summer months.’
Supporting Quotes:
‘In the UK we are blessed with great summer sporting and music events that are booked up well in advance, often at great expense. Unfortunately in 2013 thousands of fans will fall foul of online ticketing fraud and not even make it through the gates. Last year millions of pounds were reported lost to fraudsters using fancy websites and sharp sales techniques, with the true figure likely to be even greater with some victims choosing to suffer in silence. The good news is you can protect yourself by carrying out a few basic online checks before buying a ticket. It may take a little extra time but could mean the difference between having a day to remember and being left at home and out of pocket. And if you are one of the unlucky ones please report the crime to Action Fraud. Only by knowing the true extent of the pain can the NFIB get to grips with the criminal gain.’ - Det Supt Dave Clark, Director of the NFIB
‘As a company that is dedicated to serving fans and providing access to the best in live entertainment, we know that refusal at the gate is the worst experience a fan can have – particularly if a fraudulent ticket means they don’t get in. StubHub has stringent listing criteria for sellers on our site which means there is no incentive to list fraudulent tickets. Furthermore we back every ticket on the site with our FanProtect Guarantee which ensure you get the ticket you paid for, in time for the event or comparable replacements. Where we cannot offer replacements, we give you a full refund. With StubHub, pricing is clear and transparent – you won’t be asked to pay a penny more than the price you first see on the site and we manage the process from both sides to protect both the buyer and the seller. We would urge fans of live entertainment and events to always shop safely online and only go through trusted sites which offer good customer service, secure payment methods and full consumer protection.’ - Brigitte Ricou-Bellan, GM International, StubHub
‘To avoid disappointment, anyone wanting to buy tickets for an event should only buy them from trusted websites and check that the website’s url is that of the legitimate ticket seller. If you’re in any doubt at all then call the company on a known phone number instead. Be very wary of ticket offers for ‘sold out’ events as these situations are exploited by fraudsters, and if you’re unsure then leave the website immediately. If you have lost money to a ticket scam, report it to Action Fraud and help the police identify the fraudsters behind these scams.’ - Jamey Johnson, Head of Action Fraud
‘We take fraud very seriously and do everything in our power to keep scammers off our site. However we know that some people can be very devious and target fans that are desperate to see their favourite acts play - so we’d urge everyone to always carry out basic checks before buying tickets online and handing over money. One of the key points to remember is that if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.’ - Luke Todd, Head of Customer Operations at
Consumer Advice: is urging festival goers and music fans to be extra vigilant this summer when purchasing tickets and has the following simple advice for consumers to follow:
- Buy tickets only from the venue box office, promoter, official agent or reputable ticket exchange sites. - In the event that you choose to buy tickets from an individual (for example on eBay or a fan site), never transfer the money directly into their bank account but use a secure payment site such as PayPal, where money is transferred between two electronic accounts.
- Paying by credit card offers better protection than with other methods in terms of fraud, guarantees and non-delivery – so if you’ve got one, and the seller accepts it, use it.
- Before entering payment details check the link is secure. There should be a padlock symbol in the browser window frame (not the page itself), and the web address should being with ‘https://’. The ‘s’ stands for ‘secure’. - Do not reply to unsolicited emails from sellers you don’t recognise.
- If you think you have been a victim of fraud you should report it to Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud reporting centre by calling 0300 123 20 40 or by visiting
Tony Neate, CEO of Get Safe Online, is also available for further comment and interview on online security. Please do let us know if we can set up an interview or if you require any further information.
For further information:
 - Contact the Get Safe Online press office team on 0207 025 6662 or [email protected]
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About Get Safe Online
Get Safe Online (, which is now entering its seventh year, is the UK’s national internet security awareness initiative. A joint partnership between the Government, the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), Ofcom and private sector sponsors from the worlds of technology, communication, retail and finance, the initiative continues to educate, inform and raise awareness of internet security issues to encourage confident, safe use of the internet. is supported by the Cabinet Office, Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS), Home Office, Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), National Fraud Authority & Action Fraud, Ofcom, HSBC, Microsoft, Cable & Wireless Worldwide, Gumtree, Trend Micro, Symantec and PayPal.
About Tony Neate, CEO,
Tony Neate is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Get Safe Online – the UK’s leading source of unbiased, authoritative and easy-to-understand information on protection against fraud, identity theft, viruses and many other problems encountered online.
Few people can boast as much experience in cyber crime. A 30-year Police career saw Tony progress from South Wales Police’s Commercial Fraud Squad dealing largely with computer, investment and credit card fraud, to being responsible for industry liaison within the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit, remaining there when it became a part of SOCA. 2006 saw Tony retire from the Police and take up his current position.