Police warning over festival ticket fraud

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Live music lovers are being warned about ticket scams as the festival season kicks-off this summer.

Derbyshire Constabulary is teaming up with Get Safe Online to urge consumers to be careful around this time of year in light of new figures from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB).

The report revealed that 33 per cent of crime reports that related to ticket fraud in 2014 happened in the months May, June and July.

This is largely due to the number of UK festivals and high-profile concerts taking place during these months, giving ticket fraudsters far more opportunities to strike.

Although overall levels of ticket fraud have dipped 11 per cent since 2013, a staggering total of £3.35 million was still lost to ticket fraud in 2014, with victims losing on average £250 each. In 2014 there was also a 6 per cent rise in teenagers being targeted by ticket scams, going hand in hand with an increase of social media sites being used by suspects to facilitate ticket fraud.

Tony Neate, CEO of Get Safe Online said: “It can sometimes be tempting to buy from sources other than official websites if you’re desperate to get tickets to see your favourite band this summer. Unfortunately, the nature of ticket fraud means the higher the demand for an event, the higher number of potential victims the fraudsters can target.

“Contact via the internet is ideal for these criminals as they are able to use pre-existing websites or fan forums to help them appear legitimate, or in fact mimic genuine websites to help them dupe their victims into handing over money.

“E-ticketing fraud is also an increasing threat. Although convenient for people, it is much easier for offenders to copy and sell multiple tickets that you think are genuine, yet when you attend the event, the ticket is no longer valid as someone has already been submitted. Unfortunately, as these stats highlight, we are seeing more and more cases of teenagers falling victim, stressing the importance of making sure children are aware of these sorts of scams from a young age.”

Detective Insp Rob King, Head of the Derbyshire Economic Crime Unit added: “Although overall levels of ticket fraud has fallen, more younger people are becoming victims of this crime as social media becomes more central when selling tickets.

“Thankfully there are many steps that can be taken to help to protect you against ticket fraudsters, such as ensuring that tickets are only purchased from a venue box office, official agent or reputable website, and the website is genuine and secure.

“Always double check all details of your ticket purchase before confirming payment, and remember, paying by credit card offers you greater protection against fraudsters.

“If you are unsure and a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Listen to your instincts and protect yourself from cyber criminals.”

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 www.actionfraud.police.uk.

For further advice on how to stay safe online go to www.GetSafeOnline.org