Following the announcement of the easing of lockdown restrictions over the coming months, Action Fraud has reported that there has been a sharp increase in online ticket scams - which are only expected to continue growing.
A spokesperson for Action Fraud explained their position on the matter as they said: "As a result of the high demand for tickets, the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) are warning buyers to take extra care when buying tickets online.
"We are urging people to be wary of fraudsters selling fake or non-existent tickets to events. NFIB have already started seeing reports of non-existent tickets being advertised for sale online, some at inflated prices.
"It is anticipated that increased demand for tickets following lockdown restrictions will lead to greater numbers of victims and higher losses as a result.
"In February 2021, Action Fraud received 216 reports of ticket fraud. This is a 62% increase on the previous month and the highest number of reports received since March 2020 when lockdown restrictions were first implemented.
"Victims reported losing £272,300 in February 2021 – an average loss of just over £1,260 per victim."
On their official website, Action Fraud gave some advice on how to spot the signs of ticket fraud and protect yourself:
Only buy tickets from the venue’s box office, official promoter or agent, or a well-known and reputable ticket site.
Avoid paying for tickets by bank transfer, especially if buying from someone unknown. Credit card or payment services such as PayPal offer greater protection against fraud.
Be wary of unsolicited emails, texts or adverts offering unbelievably good deals on tickets. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Is the vendor a member of STAR? If they are, the company has signed up to their strict governing standards. STAR also offers an approved Alternative Dispute Resolution service to help customers with outstanding complaints. For more information please click here.
If you have been a victim of fraud or cybercrime, you can report it to Action Fraud online by clicking here or by calling 0300 123 2040.