Ticket fraud: Victims lose over a million pounds

Last updated at 05:13
Biggest Weekend crowdPA

Victims of ticket fraud are losing an average of £365 each, a new report has found.

In the last 12 months, nearly 5,000 people reported being scammed when trying to buy tickets.

Ticket fraud is when people want to buy tickets to concerts, festivals or matches, and they think they're paying a trustworthy online company, but the money actually goes to people who are either charging more money for the ticket than they should or taking all the money without ever delivering the ticket.

Action Fraud, the UK's national reporting centre on cyber crime, says victims have lost around £1.5 million to online ticket scams - an average of £365 each.

With lots of music concerts and sporting events taking place in summer, Action Fraud and the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (STAR) are warning people to take extra care when buying tickets.

'It broke my heart'
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Watch: Sophie was a victim of ticket fraud

Sophie is one of the people who have been affected by ticket fraud.

The 17-year-old said: "I've been a fan [of Ariana Grande ] since I was about 10 ... I love her personality, she's really inspiring.

"I'd planned for about two years to meet her."

Being able to meet her idol was always going to be expensive so Sophie got a job to save money.

After saving enough, Sophie's mum helped her find tickets. It was £600 for the 'meet and greet'.

Sophie was initially very excited, saying: "I've waited for this for about eight years. It's unbelievable."

Ariana-Grande-performingGetty Images
Sophie paid £600 to meet her idol, Ariana Grande

Unfortunately it really was too good to be true. When she checked the company's Twitter account she saw it had been taken down.

When Sophie and her mum tried to get in touch with them there was no answer on the phone, and the website had been taken down.

Sophie's dream of meeting Ariana Grande had been shattered.

"To some people it's just a ticket to go and see someone, but I'd waited eight years to meet her, it just broke my heart" she said.

Tips to avoid ticket fraud
Girl-using-credit-card-onlineGetty Images
People are warned to do research when buying tickets online

Action Fraud and STAR have these tips to help people from being scammed:

  • Look at the artist's website and see who they recommend you buy tickets from.
  • Always research the company or the person online before making the purchase. See what other people are saying about them online.
  • Look for the star sign - it means the site is a real one and they won't rip you off.
STAR log.Society of Ticket agents and Retailers
  • Check if there is a landline phone number and a full postal address for the website. People should avoid using the site if there is only a PO Box address and mobile phone number, as it could be difficult to get in touch after they buy tickets.
  • Fraudsters create fake websites that look similar to a genuine site, so people should double check the web address to make sure they're on the correct website.
  • If you think you have been a victim of ticket fraud, report it to Action Fraud.

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