Scammers cost Surrey residents over £80,000 in ticket fraud last year as warning is issued

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Festival and concert goers looking to get last minute tickets to this summer’s top events are urged to be on their guard against fraudulent sellers, as new data reveals £6.7 million was lost to ticket fraud last year.

Action Fraud, the national fraud and cybercrime reporting service, has launched a ticket fraud awareness campaign, warning people to be alert to fraudsters trying to catch out people planning for popular and sold-out events.

Whilst Surrey Police don’t see a huge amount of ticket fraud within Surrey, last year the force received 146 reports of ticket fraud, which resulted in a total of £83,386.89 lost.

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This warning comes ahead of the Glastonbury Festival ticket resale and before top summer events, such as Taylor Swift’s sell out Eras tour.

This warning comes ahead of the Glastonbury Festival ticket resale and before top summer events, such as Taylor Swift’s sell out Eras tour. Picture by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for TAS Rights ManagementThis warning comes ahead of the Glastonbury Festival ticket resale and before top summer events, such as Taylor Swift’s sell out Eras tour. Picture by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management
This warning comes ahead of the Glastonbury Festival ticket resale and before top summer events, such as Taylor Swift’s sell out Eras tour. Picture by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management

Pauline Smith, Head of Action Fraud, said: “We all want to enjoy ticketed events this summer, but that doesn’t stop fraudsters from taking the fun out things we look forward to doing. Too many people are losing out to fraudulent activity or genuine looking phishing messages.

“Make sure you don’t get ticked off – recognise the signs of ticket fraud before getting caught out. Remember to be wary of unsolicited messages offering deals too good to be true.”

Of the reports made to Action Fraud last year, 34 per cent of reports (2,993) mentioned concert tickets, 29 per cent of reports (2,523) mentioned travel and 18 per cent of reports (1,561) mentioned sporting events.

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Jonathan Brown, chief executive of Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers [STAR], said: “Buying from a STAR member means you are buying from an authorised ticket supplier signed up to our strict code of practice. While we hope you never have to use it, this also gets you access to our approved Alternative Dispute Resolution service.

“There are so many great gigs and festivals happening throughout the UK this summer, but sadly there are fraudsters waiting to ride on the back of public excitement about those events by ripping-off ticket buyers.

“Consumers can avoid disappointment and loss by following Action Fraud’s advice about how to buy tickets safely and taking the right steps to protect themselves.”

How to protect yourself from ticket fraud:

– Only buy tickets from the venue’s box office, the promoter, an official agent or a well-known and reputable ticket exchange site.

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– Avoid paying for tickets by bank transfer, especially if buying from someone unknown. Credit card or payment services such as PayPal give you a better chance of recovering the money if you become a victim of fraud.

– The password you use for your email account, as well as any other accounts you use to purchase tickets, should be different from all your other passwords. Use three random words to create a strong and memorable password, and enable 2-step verification (2SV).

– Be wary of unsolicited emails, texts or adverts offering unbelievably good deals on tickets.

– Is the vendor a member of STAR? If they are, the company has signed up to their strict governing standards. STAR also offers an approved Alternative Dispute Resolution service to help customers with outstanding complaints. For more information visit star.org.uk/buy_safe.

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Fraudsters often create fake ticket retail companies. Victims are lured in using social media or phishing emails with offers of the chance to buy tickets to a popular event, but instead give away their personal information or money, with no tickets received in return.

Phishing messages often look real, but instead will either steal your information or divert to malicious websites which can infect your computer with malware.

If you feel at all suspicious, report the email to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS) at [email protected]. For more advice on how to stay secure online, please visit cyberaware.gov.uk.

Find out how to protect yourself from fraud: https://stopthinkfraud.campaign.gov.uk.

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If you live in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and have been a victim of fraud or cybercrime, report it at www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040. In Scotland, victims of fraud and cybercrime should report to Police Scotland on 101.