Online Ticket Fraud Up 55 Percent in the UK

Online Ticket Fraud Up 55 Percent in the UK

Scammers and fraudsters have turned to social media to ripoff consumers who frequent sporting and entertainment events, and they’re doing it better than ever. According to a recent report compiled by Get Safe Online and the London Police’s National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, online ticket fraud in 2015 was 55 percent higher than it was in 2014.

According to Get Safe Online’s website, consumers in the UK lost $5.2 million in 2015 to online ticket fraud — 26 percent to sporting events. Consumers aged 20-29 made up for more than 25 percent of the victims.

Of course, ticket fraud is nothing new. Not only are there fraudsters on the street hawking counterfeit tickets, there are just as many online.

The ‘Old School’ of Ticket Fraud

Back in the winter of 1993, a colleague and I planned to catch a New York Knicks game at Madison Square Garden. The game was sold out — the Knicks were in the midst of a (rare) good season – but we figured we might be able to get a couple of cheap nosebleed seats from a scalper.

We found a slightly overzealous chap about a block from MSG offering a pair of tickets.

‘How much?’ I inquired.

‘Hundred for the deuce,’ he said, a little jittery and looking over his shoulder.

My colleague and I looked at each other. Back then, $100 was steep for balcony seats for a single game. We tried to negotiate. Our man wouldn’t have it, so we walked off.

He followed. ‘Come on bro! You’re not going to find better than this. $100 for both!’ We ignored him. Then he got angry, chastising us for not buying, walking in front of us, starting to get combative.

‘Step out of my way, please,’ I told him. And we walked off to a series of expletives.

My colleague and I opted to watch in a nearby pub, close to where our friend approached us. We ran into him again, only this time, he was facing a wall with his hands cuffed behind his back. The ‘tickets’ he was selling were counterfeit.

Online ticket fraudsters are just as aggressive.

5 Things to Watch For

With Euro 2016 less than three months away, as well as a summer full of concert festivals, it is peak season for online ticket fraudsters. Concerts and sporting events aren’t cheap, so consumers are always looking online for a better deal. Unfortunately, by doing so, the chances of being scammed increase significantly.

Here are five things consumers can do:

  1. If the cost is too good to be true, it probably is: Ticket fraudsters are looking for fast, pure profit and will slightly ‘lower’ their rates to accomplish such.
  2. Know your seller: If you’re looking for tickets on websites such as, Facebook or Twitter, be on guard. Purchase your ticket from a trusted source: A friend, the actual venue, a well-known seller or reputable reseller.
  3. Is the website insecure for payments? No ‘padlock’ symbol? No green URL symbol? No ‘https’? Exit immediately.
  4. Contact/Return/Privacy: Make certain the seller or reseller has a prominent contact page, return policy and a privacy policy on his website.
  5. Follow up: Check your credit card statement or bank account statement in the days following the purchase.

Secure Online Ticketing with Instabill

Instabill serves as the payment processor for many reputable ticket agents and resellers. Instabill guarantees a secure payment gateway, SSL certificates and fraud prevention tools for your website.

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