Foo Fighters and Fleetwood Mac fans are among those who were victims of ticket fraud totalling more than £1million in the last six months.
Police figures reveal that nearly 3000 music and sports fans have lost £1.2m to ticket fraud in that period, with the average loss per person working out at £444 per transaction.
However, the BBC reports that the number of victims is likely to be much higher, as ticket fraud often goes unreported.
Reg Walker of the Iridium Consultancy, which tackles ticket fraud, tells the BBC the true cost of ticket scams is in the tens of millions, but many people don’t contact police because credit card companies usually refund their money. He adds: “Just because you get your money back, it doesn’t mean to say that no crime has been committed and you’re no longer a victim.”
The national fraud and internet crime reporting centre, Action Fraud, agrees. They say: “Reported ticketing fraud losses run into millions of pounds, but the reality is the true scale of the problem is likely to be much greater.
“We would urge anyone who loses money to a ticketing fraud to report to Action Fraud so we can understand the true nature and scale of the problem and police forces can track down those most responsible.”
One of the companies at the centre of the fraud was CircleTickets, which advertised tickets for Fleetwood Mac and Foo Fighters shows. It was shut down and referred to the police.
Detective Chief Inspector Andy Fyfe, from the City of London Police, says: “When people discover they have fallen victim to a fraud – be it through purchasing tickets that either don’t exist or turn out to be counterfeit – it can be a devastating experience.
“The key to making sure you don’t fall victim to this crime is to only use authorised sellers and if you have any doubts about the website, check out the reviews online.
“When it comes to making a purchase always use a payment card and never transfer the funds directly into another bank account.”