More than a quarter of millennial festivalgoers have fallen victim to a ticket scam, according to new research this week.
With con artists using a range of methods to tempt music fans, from offering nonexistent tickets on social media to directing people to fake websites, falling victim to this sort of scam has never been easier, says Barclays, which issued the findings.
The warning comes ahead of the festival season, when thousands of tickets will be snapped up.
However, with some events sold out already, many people will inevitably be left disappointed and will be doing whatever they can to secure a ticket.
According to the research, victims are at risk of losing £179 on average.
The nature of the fraud can vary, but it usually involves tickets being sold that either don’t exist, are counterfeit or never turn up.
Buying a ticket from a tout on social media was identified as carrying one of the greatest risks of being scammed. Yet 40% of 25- to 34-year-olds admitted they would be prepared to turn to social media sites in order to get their hands on a ticket, says the bank.
There have also been warnings about fans putting themselves at risk by sharing images of event tickets that can be used to create fakes. Scammers can mock up counterfeit tickets by copying the barcode. It means that when the genuine holder arrives at the event, he or she is left stuck outside because someone who bought one of the fakes has already used it to get in.
Here are some tips for protecting yourself against ticket scams:
• Do your research and make sure you use a legitimate website or company. Only buy tickets from the venue box office, promoter, official agent or reputable ticket resale site that has been approved by the event organiser. For example, Twickets, the “ethical” resale online marketplace that enables fans to buy and sell tickets at no more than their original face value, has partnered with several leading festivals.
• Remember that paying by credit card offers greater protection than other methods in terms of fraud, guarantees and non-delivery.
• Before entering your payment details, ensure the website is secure. There should be a padlock symbol in the browser window frame. The web address should begin with “https://”.
• If you buy tickets from an individual, for example on eBay, never transfer the money directly into their bank account. “Scammers love bank transfers – the money goes straight into their account, and then the seller can disappear. By the time you realise something is wrong, it may be too late,” says Barclays.
• Don’t click on social media, text or email links or attachments offering tickets, as they could connect to fraudulent or malware sites.
• If you become a victim of ticket fraud, report it to Action Fraud on www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 20 40.