Industry News

Police offer ticket buying advice due to ‘growing problem’ of cybercrime

South Yorkshire Police have issued a series of tips to ticket-buyers in a bid to curb the “growing problem” of online fraud.

The regional police force, responsible for an area with a population of 1.2 million, said it issued the warning due to a “growing number of incidents where internet fraudsters have left buyers empty-handed”.

The most recently published figures from the City of London Police’s National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) and Get Safe Online, released in spring 2016, show a 55 per cent rise in ticket fraud during 2015, costing the UK public £5.2m (€6.0m/$6.3m) and rising from £3.35m in 2014.

Ticket-purchasers are advised to check for criticism of potential vendors, pay by credit card where possible, and check that payment pages are secure.

Chief Inspector Steve Leach, cybercrime lead at South Yorkshire Police said: “Being able to quickly book tickets to see U2, your favourite football team or the stars of Saturday night TV in the flesh is a big attraction.

“In a matter of minutes many of us are able to log on, enter our payment details, sit back and look forward to the event, safe in the knowledge that our tickets are on their way.

“The internet has transformed the way many of us plan our precious leisure time for the better, but for a growing number of people the experience has been soured.”

“As online ticketing fraud and criminality continues to rise, it’s more important than ever to take preventative steps to ensure you don’t lose out to scammers.

“Reputable organisations make it as safe as possible for their customers to conduct business with them online. But today’s cybercriminals are highly skilled at creating fake websites and persuading buyers to part with their cash.”

The 10 tips from South Yorkshire Police are:
1) Check with the event organiser, promoter or venue how and when tickets are being distributed.

2) If you are buying from an online resale marketplace, make sure it is a reputable company and they operate a reliable guarantee that ensures you get replacement tickets or a full refund if there is a problem with providing your tickets.

3) Check where the company’s office is and whether they have a landline in this country and a proper address rather than a post office (PO) box.

4) Check online if there is criticism of the company.

5) Ask questions, such as when the ticket will be dispatched and what type of ticket you are buying.

6) Read the terms and conditions carefully, as some ticket websites clearly state that no refunds are offered.

7) 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.

8) If possible, consider paying for tickets by credit card. The card issuer is jointly liable for a failure for 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 in the distant future.

9) 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’.

10) If you choose to buy tickets from an individual (for example on eBay), never transfer the money directly into their bank account but use a secure payment site such as PayPal, where money is transferred between two electronic accounts.