5 ways to make sure your event ticket is legit
Published 5 July 2019
If you’re tempted by a last minute cheap ticket to see your favourite band, double check you’ve not been taken in by a scammer. We show you how to sort the scam sellers from the genuine article.
Summer is in full swing, and lots of us are heading out on the road to see our favourite bands play at a festival. It’s a great way to have fun, but it can come at a hefty cost.
Because of these rising costs, if you end up with a fake ticket you’ll be more out of pocket than ever. Last year Action Fraud reported that victims of ticket fraud lost an average of £365 each.
Fraudsters create fake sites that have similar names to well-known ticket retailers to lure you in. Some will even go as far as pretending they’re connected to the performer. The aim is to convince you that they hold the key to getting you in to that gig.
Nobody wants the embarrassment and upset of turning up at a venue and finding their ticket is fake. To protect yourself from ticket touts, follow these tips:
How you pay is important
Your payment method could be the difference between getting a refund or not on a fake ticket!
Your best bet is to pay by credit card or debit card, as you have added security. Credit cards have extra protection thrown in by law, and with a debit card you can use a chargeback to claim for a refund.
Paying for tickets by bank transfer is a big no-no, especially if it’s to a stranger. If the seller says they can’t accept card payments, it could be dodgy.
Bank transfers are difficult to trace, which makes it hard for you to claim your money back. Moving away from an official site also puts you at risk, as you’ll lose any payment protection you had from it.
Once you’re happy the site is the real deal, don’t forget to double check all the details before you click ‘pay’.
Watch out for ‘spontaneous’ emails, texts or adverts
Do you tweet about your love for Kylie Minogue? Or reminisce on Facebook about that amazing Fleetwood Mac show?
Scammers could use this information on your social media as a way to target you. If you receive any uninvited communication from a ticket company, be wary. Chances are they’ve seen you’re a Kylie fan and are looking to scam you.
Always be careful about what you share and who you share it with when you’re online. We’ve put together a guide to protecting your social media to help.
And speaking of social media…
You’re taking a big gamble if you decide to buy tickets from Facebook, Twitter or any other social media site. The seller might seem friendly, but a lot of scammers take advantage of people desperately scouring social media for last minute tickets.
If you see someone offering tickets for Ariana Grande at the O2 in London for less than £100, you can be pretty certain they’re fake. These tickets are pretty hard to come by, and their face value is £116.
Don’t be blinded by how much you want to get those tickets. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Stick to buying from the venue’s box office, official promoter, or a well-known website.
Look for STAR’s stamp of approval
When a company is a member of STAR, the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers, they’ll have the logo on their website. If you can’t find it, double check on STAR’s member directory.
This means that the company have signed up to follow STAR’s code of practice, so you can rest assured your tickets will be genuine. STAR also offer a dispute resolution service to help you to get your money back if anything goes wrong.
If you can’t see a STAR logo on a ticket site or spot the company in the member directory, don’t risk buying from them. For more help and advice, have a look at STAR’s guide to buying tickets safely.
Check the details
Any genuine ticket site will have contact details that are easy to find. Look for a landline phone number and a full postal address to make sure you can get hold of them easily.
Be suspicious of sites that list a PO Box address or mobile number as their main contact details. These are easy to change and difficult to trace if you need to get in touch with the company at a later date.
Another thing to look out for is the URL of the site. It should start with ‘https’ and have a padlock in the address bar, which means that the website is secure.
Make sure that the website that you’re on has the right web address. Watch out for full stops or hyphens that might mean you’re on a fake site. An example of this might be ‘ticket-master’ or ‘ticket.master’ instead of ‘ticketmaster’.
What to do if you think you’ve been scammed
Report it to Action Fraud and your bank straight away.
If you paid for fake tickets on your thinkmoney debit card, raise a chargeback with us. We’ll do our best to get your money back.
You can also report the seller to Trading Standards. Although they can't help with getting you a refund, any legal action they take will help to prevent further ticket fraud.
Need help budgeting for that summer festival?
Whether you’re pitching your tent or glamping, you can relax knowing your bills are covered with a thinkmoney Current Account. And if your phone hasn’t died yet from all the photos and videos you’ve been taking, log in to the app at any time to check if you’ve got enough money for that sparkly poncho.