Ticket fraud cost fans £1.3m in last six months
Concert-goers and sports fans have collectively lost n early £1.3 million in the last six months due to ticket fraud , figures show.
Action Fraud said there were 2 ,885 reports of ticket fraud recorded in the six months to the end of October. The typical loss per victim was £205 - but some people suffered much higher losses, running into thousands of pounds.
Events targeted included concerts featuring Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, the Foo Fighters and One Direction, as well as the Rugby World Cup and the festival season.
The figures were released to mark the launch of a campaign called #lookfortheSTAR.
Led by the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (Star), the #lookfortheSTAR campaign aims to help reduce fraud ahead of the peak Christmas ticket-buying period.
Star members, who must sign up to a code of practice, and other supporters are raising awareness of the issue on Twitter as well as in their own e-newsletters.
The initiative is backed by the Concert Promoters Association (CPA), the National Arenas Association (NAA), the Musicians' Union and the Society of London Theatre, as well as ticket agents, performers, venues and others within the entertainment industry. Other supporters include Action Fraud, the Metropolitan Police and City of London Police.
Websites of Star members including Ticketmaster, See Tickets, TicketWeb, ATG Tickets, The Ticket Factory, Eventim and Ticketline, as well as theatre and concert venues, are featuring the campaign.
Detective Chief Inspector Andy Fyfe, of City of London Police/Action Fraud, said: " The key to making sure you don't fall victim to this crime is to only use authorised sellers and if you have any doubts about the website, check out the reviews online.
"When it comes to making a purchase always use a payment card and never transfer the funds directly into another bank account."
Star chairman Adrian Sanders said: "As well as cheating the consumer, every case of fraud damages the reputation of Britain's vital entertainment and sporting industries.
"Buying tickets from a Star kite-marked seller will give consumers the confidence that their purchase comes with certain guarantees that protect their rights."
Action Fraud said many cases of ticket fraud may be going unreported, and it urged victims to report them so it can build up a clear picture of the extent of the problem.
Here are some tips from Action Fraud on how to avoid becoming a victim of ticket fraud:
:: Be wary if previously advertised sold out tickets are on sale.
:: Research the company online.
:: Check whether the company has a real world presence, for example, a registered UK landline phone number. This can be checked in the BT phonebook.
:: Be aware that telephone numbers starting 070 or 004470 can be set up on the internet and answered anywhere in the world.
:: Check to see if a company is registered with Companies House.
:: Check ticketing forums to find feedback from people who have purchased tickets from the website.