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Ticket fraud


Ticket fraud is when you buy tickets from a website, but the tickets do not arrive or turn out to be fake.

How do scam ticket websites work?

  • The website offers you the chance to buy tickets to a popular event. The event is often actually sold-out, or the tickets haven’t officially gone on sale yet.
  • You pay for the tickets but they are never delivered.
  • In some cases you might be told that a customer representative will meet you at the venue on the day. Nobody turns up.
  • You may even receive tickets, but when you arrive at the event, the organisers tell you the tickets are fake.
  • When you try to call the company you bought the tickets from, your calls are not answered or do not connect.

Remember that it’s easy for scammers to set up a fake website that looks genuine. Some even use a name or website URL that is similar to a legitimate website. If you’re unsure, or it sounds too good to be true, leave the website immediately.


How to protect yourself from scam ticket websites

Check with the event organiser, promoter or venue how and when tickets are being distributed.

  • Check where the company’s office is and whether they have a landline in this country and a proper address rather than a PO box.
  • Check online if there is adverse criticism of the company.
  • Ask questions, such as when the ticket will be dispatched and what type of ticket you are buying.
  • Read the terms and conditions on all ticket websites (some sites state quite clearly that there are no refunds).
  • If you’re buying football tickets, be aware that it’s illegal to re-sell football tickets under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act in most instances.
  • Pay for tickets by credit card – the card issuer is jointly liable for a failure of goods or services to be provided, as long as the price of a single ticket is more than £100 (but less than £30,000). Check with your card provider how long the period of liability is if the event is further ahead.
  • Check the payment pages are secure by looking for a padlock symbol in the address bar, and making sure the website address begins with ‘https’.

If you have lost money to a ticket scam, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

© Greater Manchester Police 2017