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Music and sports fans lose £1.6m to ticket fraudsters in a year

Festival-goers and sports fans are being warned to avoid buying fake tickets after scam victims lost more than £1.6 million in a year
Festival-goers and sports fans are being warned to avoid buying fake tickets after scam victims lost more than £1.6 million in a year

By Henry Vaughan

Festival-goers and sports fans are being warned to avoid buying fake tickets after scam victims lost more than £1.6 million in a year.

Action Fraud, the national fraud and cyber-crime reporting centre, said it received 4,755 complaints of ticket fraud between April 1, 2018 and April 30, 2019. A total of £1,654,888 was lost, equivalent to £365 for each victim.

The number of reported ticket frauds is down almost a third from 6,486 the previous year, although a spike in August 2018 saw 539 reports as fraudsters sought to exploit fans keen to get their hands on tickets for events such as music festivals.

Director of Action Fraud, Pauline Smith, said: "Fraudsters take advantage when music and sports fans are keen to get tickets for high-profile events.

"This is why it's so important that people are vigilant and aware that there are fraudsters all over the globe trying to make money out of innocent victims.

"To avoid disappointment, always buy tickets from an official event organiser or website and if you are tempted to buy from a secondary ticket source, always research the company or the person online before making the purchase."

Action Fraud and the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (Star) are warning that fraudsters are posing as websites or agents for a live event, conning victims into buying tickets which either do not arrive or are fake.

Fake websites often have URLs similar to that of a genuine site, and ticket-buyers are advised to first double check the web address, ensuring it starts with "https" and displays a locked padlock icon in the address bar.

Star chief executive Jonathan Brown said: "Today's highly sobering figures reveal that, although most of us think we can spot a scam, in fact victims of unscrupulous ticket dealers come from all walks of life.

"Younger people are especially affected, prompting us to launch a bold new campaign with Action Fraud to reach this market."

Scotland Yard warned counterfeit tickets were being sold around the Oval in London yesterday as India took on Australia in the Cricket World Cup.

The force tweeted: "Please do not buy tickets for events from non-official vendors as you may end up being rejected entry and lose a substantial amount of money."

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