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Online ticket fraud up 55% in the UK

Users of social media sites, especially Facebook, are increasingly being targeting by fraudsters, with live music events accounting for 15 per cent of all ticket scams

By Jon Chapple on 21 Mar 2016

Online shopping, ticket fraud, Fosforix

image © Fosforix/Flickr

Incidents of ticket fraud rose by 55 per cent in the UK last year, costing the British public £5.2 million, according to new research.

Figures released by cyber-security awareness initiative Get Safe Online and the City of London Police’s National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) show that counterfeit or non-existent tickets to gigs and festivals accounted for 15 per cent of all reported ticket scams in 2015, second only to those for major sporting events, which made up over a quarter.

More than a fifth of crimes were instigated through Facebook, and around the same amount on Gumtree, with six per cent via Twitter. Get Safe Online urged anyone buying tickets online to be “vigilant”, especially on social media sites, which it says are “increasingly being used by criminals to facilitate ticket fraud”.

“The fact that people in their 20s are most likely to fall victim to ticket fraud is concerning, as this is the age group who are known to be most cyber-savvy”

Interestingly – and in contrast to the accepted wisdom about the internet – those most at risk of buying fake or non-existent tickets are the young: those aged between 20 and 29 accounted for 28 per cent of those ripped off, followed by 30- to 39- and 40- to 49-year-olds, at 23 per cent each.

Commander Chris Greany of City of London Police says: “Ticket fraudsters will use every opportunity they can to try and exploit innocent people who are simply looking to book an event or holiday. The newly released figures show that fraudsters will particularly target those who are spending large amounts of money on flight tickets or tickets for holiday packages.

“The fact that people in their 20s are most likely to fall victim to ticket fraud is concerning, as this is the age group who are known to be most cyber-savvy. If this group is falling victim it suggests that the fraudulent tickets sellers are very convincing and have the ability to exploit just about every type of internet user.”