Business

Football and rugby hit by ticket fraud

  • 21 March 2016
  • From the section Business
Arsenal fans Image copyright Reuters

Online ticket fraud revenue rose by 55% in a year - driven by scams targeting fans of Premier League football and the Rugby Union World Cup.

The amount lost to online ticket fraud rose to £5.2m in the year to the end of October compared with £3.35m a year earlier, police said.

Major events, such as the Rugby Union World Cup, which was hosted by England, led to the rise in cases, they said.

Fans aged in their 20s are most likely to buy fake or bogus tickets online.

Police raised concerns that the "tech-savvy" generation were the hardest hit by ticket fraud, although those aged in their 20s are also likely to be financially-pressed and looking for a bargain.

"If this group is falling victim, it suggests that the fraudulent ticket sellers are very convincing and have the ability to exploit just about every type of internet user," said Chris Greany, of the City of London Police.

The figures, from the City of London Police National Fraud Intelligence Bureau and awareness group Get Safe Online, suggest that fans of the Rugby Union World Cup and Premier League football were targeted in more than a quarter of ticket scam cases.

Ticket scams relating to gigs and music festivals were next on the list, accounting for 15% of cases.

Tony Neate, of Get Safe Online, urged sports fans and festival goers to do their homework before buying tickets to popular events online.

"Criminals are clever and often use pre-existing websites or fan forums to help them appear legitimate, or in fact mimic genuine websites to help them dupe their victims into handing over money," he said.

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