Safe Ticket Buying – Action Fraud


10 June 2019
Pauline Smith, Director of Action Fraud, writes

Most people assume ticket fraud is easy to spot and will never happen to them. 

The reality is we hear from victims from all ages and every walk of life falling prey to unscrupulous operators.

Action Fraud is run by the City of London Police and is the UK’s national fraud and cyber-crime reporting centre,

My team takes calls from people on a daily basis whose hard-earned cash has vanished. It’s horrible to hear they won’t be getting to see their much-loved artist or team and how they now have to break the bad news to friends and family also affected.

This month we’re teaming up with the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (STAR) to urge people to take more care when buying tickets for live events and use authorised sellers.

Loads of brilliant events taking place this summer mean fraudsters can take advantage of unsuspecting fans keen to get their hands on tickets. The victims we hear from lose an average of £365.

Here are five top tips to stay vigilant and protect yourself:

Don’t let your desire to get tickets blind you
Do your research before putting in those credit card details. If you’re being offered something too good to be true it probably is. Fraudsters often create fake websites with URLs similar to that of a genuine site. Avoid using the site if there is only a PO Box address and mobile phone number.

Don’t panic if it says ‘SOLD OUT’
Not all ticket companies will sell out at the same time, so try other authorised sellers and the venue. Very often, if sales demand is high, extra seats or dates can be released. All is not lost if you don’t manage to get seats within the first hour of on-sale.

Search for the STAR
Most reputable ticket sellers are members of the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (STAR). Buying from a STAR member ensures you’re dealing with a company that has signed up to a strict code of practice and that you’ve got somewhere to turn to if anything goes wrong. STAR is approved by the government to help resolve any disputes.

Use a credit card rather than bank transfer wherever possible
This gives you more consumer protection if things go wrong.

Ignore that craving to share your ticket on social!
Sharing the QA code, images of tickets, or barcodes can let others copy your ticket and gain entry using the barcode. You wouldn’t post a picture of your credit card online… don’t post a picture of your ticket.