The Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (STAR) has been hailed for its help in tackling ticket fraud as the organisation celebrates its 20th anniversary.

Figures released by STAR and cybercrime reporting centre Action Fraud, collected to recognise the milestone, reveal that the number of reported incidences of ticket fraud, measured over a period of six months in 2017, increased to 3,973 from 2,885 in 2015. The average value of loss was a little lower than 2015 at £195 ($265/€220).

Dave Clark, City of London Police’s national coordinator for economic crime, temporary commander, said STAR, which works as a champion for ticket buyers through its self-regulatory role, consumer and industry education and dispute resolution, continues to make a vital contribution in the field.

He said: “As the National Lead Force for Fraud, we are thankful to STAR for working with us to protect people from ticketing fraud. Whether people are buying tickets for the theatre, a festival, a concert or a sports event, they need to remain vigilant and be aware that there are fraudsters all over the globe trying to make money out of people’s desire to buy tickets quickly and easily online. If a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is.

“We recommend that people buy from reputable ticket sellers who are members of STAR.”

STAR held its inaugural meeting in December 1997 and began its work in 1998 as the self-regulatory body for the entertainment ticket industry. Members of STAR, which include every major authorised ticket agent in the UK, agree and work to a strict Code of Practice.

Adrian Sanders, chairman of STAR, said: “What these latest figures show is just how important it is to have an organisation like STAR in place. Sadly, customers are continuing to fall prey to deliberate fraudsters and therefore need to know exactly where they should purchase tickets from safely. Despite the considerable advances in ticket fraud prevention, some customers are still too easily being tricked.

“Purchasing from a STAR member ensures you are buying from a company that has signed up to the high standards of our Code. It also means you have somewhere to turn to in the unlikely event that something goes wrong.”

STAR also marked its 20th anniversary by revamping its website and has become an official provider of Alternative Dispute Resolution. The new website allows customers faster and cleaner access to all the information and services STAR has to offer.

Jonathan Brown, chief executive of STAR, said: “The ticketing industry has evolved enormously over the past 20 years, but the core values of what STAR was founded on remain unchanged.

“Customers deserve the very highest standards when it comes to purchasing tickets and the work STAR has done, and continues to do, ensures that its members remain reputable and accountable for every transaction.”

IMAGE: STAR/Josh Sorenson (logo added)