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Trading Standards warns against counterfeit festival and concert tickets

Posted on Friday 14th June 2024

Stock image of a concert

With summer festivals and some major stadium concerts underway in the UK, festival goers are being reminded to remain vigilant to avoid scams when buying tickets.

The reminder from Staffordshire County Council’s Trading Standards service follows research by Santander last year, that found one in three festival tickets sold may be counterfeit.  A combination of limited tickets for festivals and events, and limited funds is forcing revellers to look for the best way to save money on tickets. This makes it easy for scammers and criminals to take advantage of people.

Ending up with an invalid ticket not only leads to financial loss but also the disappointment of missing out on anticipated events.

Trading Standards officers have offered the following advice for people buying tickets:

  • Always buy tickets from official vendors or accredited resellers.
  • Always use Secure Websites and look for a padlock symbol in the web address to ensure the site is secure.
  • Avoid Social Media Sales and where sellers are not verified.
  • Check Reviews and research the seller’s reputation and read reviews from other buyers.
  • Use secure payment methods that offer buyer protection, such as credit cards.

Catherine Mann, Assistant Director for Culture, Rural & Safer Communities at Staffordshire County Council said:

“Ticket fraud is a growing concern for our Trading Standards team but by following some simple advice , music enthusiasts can protect themselves and make sure they get to enjoy a genuine and safe experience.

“If you do end up with an invalid ticket please contact the Citizens Advice Consumer service who can advise you.”

Many venues and organisers are wise to ticket touts and have made tickets non-transferable, so the tickets can only be used by the person buying them. Anyone buying a ticket that is only meant for the named person, won’t be given entry on arrival, even if they can prove that they bought the ticket second-hand.

Santander’s research reports that 67% of their customers who were scammed while trying to buy a ticket indicated that the scam originated from social media. The highest reported claims were for concert and festival tickets, accounting for nearly half (47%) of all claims, followed by football tickets (17%) and flights (7%).

To report fraudulent ticket sales, or if you need advice check out the Citizens Advice Consumer Service website. 

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