Lloyds Bank has warned gig-goers and music-lovers about the sharp increase in concert ticket scams, which surged by more than 500% over the last year.
In the UK, the bank revealed that victims were losing £110 (€124/$136) on average, with some losing out on thousands of pounds.
Over the last year, Lloyds Banking Group customers reported the most common artists and festivals being targeted were the likes of Harry Styles, Lewis Capaldi, Coldplay and Calvin Harris, as well as Reading and Leeds festivals, Wireless and Parklife.
The number of scams reported surrounding concert tickets soared by 529% over the last year, and the number of scams reported by those attempting to buy music festival tickets more than doubled, up by 128% compared to the previous year.
There were also big increases in the number of scams relating to bookings for comedy and theatre shows.
Typically, a purchase scam happens when someone is tricked into sending money via bank transfer to buy goods or services that do not exist. Ticket scams usually also involve fake websites, social media posts or emails offering tickets at discounted prices, or access to sold out events.
Jonathan Brown, chief executive of Secure Tickets from Authorised Retailers (STAR), told TheTicketingBusiness: “Given the demand for the great gigs and festivals on offer, it’s not a surprise that fraudsters move in to deceive the public. It’s a tragedy that there is this level of fraud, but people become victims when they are lured with false promises to step outside the authorised ticket market.
“Lloyds report that the fraud is caused by people sending bank transfers for tickets offered through dodgy websites and socials. Buying from members of STAR assures customers that the seller is authorised and accountable as they have signed up to our Code and participate in our approved Alternative Dispute Resolution service.”
Liz Ziegler, fraud prevention director, Lloyds Bank, said: “Fraudsters are always changing their tactics to trick victims out of their hard-earned cash. With demand to attend live events soaring as the warmer weather approaches, they’ll waste no time in targeting music fans as they rush to pick up tickets for the most popular gigs and festivals.
“It’s easy to let our emotions get the better of us when we find out our favourite artist is going to be performing live, but it’s important not to let that excitement cloud our judgement when trying to get hold of tickets.
“Buying directly from reputable, authorised platforms is the only way to guarantee
you’re paying for a real ticket. Even then, always pay by debit or credit card for the greatest protection.”
Ziegler added: “If you’re being asked to pay by bank transfer, particularly from a seller you’ve found on social media, that should immediately set alarm bells ringing.”