Avoid online ticket fraud
How to buy tickets online safely
It’s important to stay alert to the signs of fraudulent ticket sellers. We share some simple tips to make sure you get to your favourite events.
Online ticket fraud is unfortunately big business and isn’t slowing down. Tickets to major sporting events, gigs and festivals are top targets. ‘Criminals have captured a market of fans who will do anything to get a ticket,’ says Tony Neate, CEO of Get Safe Online. ‘It makes festivals, concerts and big sporting events a prime target for fraud.’
If you’re hoping to head to any big matches, festivals or concerts, follow our tips to help make sure the tickets you buy online are the real deal.
Seek out secure sites
Make sure the website you purchase tickets from is secure – look for the padlock symbol in the browser window.
The web address should begin with ‘https’ (the ‘s’ stands for secure) and if you’re using the latest version of your browser the address bar should turn green, too.
Beware of copycats
‘Criminals are clever and often mimic genuine websites to help them dupe their victims into handing over money,’ says Tony.
Fraudulent websites can often be very sophisticated and sometimes look almost identical to the real thing. ‘Try to do as much research as you can to ensure that the provider or person you are buying from is exactly who they say they are.’ For example, if you’re unsure whether a site is credible, check the company’s office address and landline number – it shouldn’t just be a PO box. Incorrect spelling and grammar or low quality imagery can also be signs of a bogus site.
Check for customer reviews of online ticket retailers on sites such as Feefo. Be wary of duplicated comments as this could indicate a company isn’t genuine. Equally a lack of reviews could be a warning sign.
Be safe on social
Buying tickets through social media can come with risks – as verifying that someone is who they say they are or that tickets are genuine isn’t easy. In 2015, 21% of ticket fraud was instigated on Facebook and 22% on Gumtree 1. Try to buy event tickets from box offices, official agents or reputable ticket exchange sites wherever possible.
Don’t rely on search rankings
Be careful not to trust a website just because it comes high in search engine results. Fraudulent sites can occasionally feature highly by mistake, giving people a false sense of security. Make sure you go through the regular checks no matter where the site ranks.
Protect purchases by paying on credit card
If you use your credit card to buy items costing more than £100 (up to £30,000), you’re covered if something goes wrong with your purchase. This gives you an extra safety net if your tickets don’t arrive. Read more details about how you’re protected when you use your Barclaycard or other credit cards. It’s always advisable to pay your card off in full each month to avoid interest charges.
Before you buy, get the basics covered
- Check all ticket order details before confirming payment – including the date, price, event name and location – to make sure they are accurate
- If buying tickets from an individual never transfer money directly to another bank account, always use a secure payment site such as PayPal
- Don’t rely on the account name to keep you safe – remember that any payments you make will go to the sort code and account number quoted in your payment, without reference to the account name
- Keep receipts, emails and statements safe in case problems occur further down the line
- Keep anti-virus software up to date, and run regular scans and system updates.
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