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Ticket to nowhere: festival ticket scams on the rise

Ahead of the upcoming summer festival season, Barclays bank issues warnings to protect at-risk fans from ticketing scams and fraudsters

By Anna Grace on 24 Apr 2019

image © Magnus D

International consumer and wholesale bank Barclays has issued a warning to festivalgoers this summer who are at risk of losing £179 on average from ticketing scams.

New research carried out by the bank has shown that 26% of those aged between 25 and 34 have fallen victim to a ticketing scam, proving the most at risk age-group of those surveyed.

The bank also finds that scammers tend to target the same festivalgoer more than once, with 37% of victims saying they had fallen for at least three different ticketing scams in the last two years.

Barclays warns that fake ticketing websites and social media personas are the most common form of scam, with a bank transfer being the preferred method of payment for criminals.

The data reveals that fans are aware of the risk of buying tickets from unofficial sources, such as through a social media group, yet 40% of 25 to 34 year olds admitted they would be prepared to use social media to secure tickets, despite the risks.

Facebook has become a popular platform for ticket touts and scammers, who set up unofficial events pages or heavily advertise tickets on the official pages for artists or events.

“As we enter the festival season, it is easy to forget our online safety as people look to secure their must-have tickets”

In January, the social media giant committed to take action against ticket fraud, promising to launch a tool to report fake ads and donate £3 million to a project dedicated to tackling fraud.

“As we enter the festival season, it is easy to forget our online safety as people look to secure their must-have tickets,” comments Barclays head of digital safety, Ross Martin.

“Yet, we should all be aware of the risks when purchasing tickets and make sure we are carrying out proper safety checks, to ensure our festival experience is not ruined by fraudsters.”

The bank urges fans to ensure they buy tickets from legitimate sources, checking if websites are part of the UK’s Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (STAR) and are listed as an approved ticket seller on the festival website.

Further instructions warn against buying tickets advertised at heavily discounted prices, using payment pages that do not display a padlock symbol in the web address and purchasing from sellers insisting on payment by bank transfer.

Data released by STAR last year indicated that ticket fraud in the UK has been rising steadily on the past few years.

More details on how to stay safe when buying festival tickets can be found here.


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