More than 1,500 people attempted to access a fake ticketing website set up by the UK authorities in a bid to highlight the issue of fraud within the sector.
Action Fraud – the national fraud reporting centre – and City of London Police collaborated with Get Safe Online and the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (STAR) to create the fake Surfed Arts platform.
During a series of Facebook flash advertising more than 1,500 people tried to purchase music tickets from ‘Surfed Arts’. The adverts targeted people living in areas where bands or artists are due to play sell-out concerts. Adverts were shown to fans of Adele in London, Ed Sheeran in Manchester, Iron Maiden in Birmingham, Coldplay in Cardiff and Bruno Mars in Leeds.
The site itself was made to look a secondary ticket provider, “imitating the way fraudsters offer fake tickets online”.
Action Fraud said: “Fans who clicked through were taken to the Surfed Arts website where they were immediately told that they were not able to buy tickets and advised on how to protect themselves from falling victim to real ticket fraudsters in the future.”
To view the Surfed Arts fake ticket campaign click here.
Action Fraud said a report by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) revealed that more than 21,000 people have reported falling victim to ticket fraud in the last three years, with around £17m (€19.9m/$21m) lost to criminals.
It added that the most common victims are males in their 20s. Bank transfers were the most commonly used method to buy tickets with 65 per cent of people saying that it was the payment method used when they were defrauded. Of those reporting, more than 33 per cent said that the fraud had a significant effect on their life and an additional eight per cent said that being defrauded in this way had “severely affected” them.
Dave Clark, head of Economic Crime Directorate at the City of London Police, said: “No matter what you’re buying a ticket for: a concert, a sports event or a flight, you 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.”