1,500 ‘buy’ tickets from STAR-backed hoax site
More than 1,500 people have attempted to buy tickets from a fake secondary ticketing website set up by a British police force.
Surfed Arts, established by the City of London police in partnership with Action Fraud, Get Safe Online and the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (STAR), aimed to show members of the public “just how easy it is to be tricked into buying fake tickets online”.
Online ticket fraud in the UK grew 55% in 2015, according to online security advisory Get Safe Online.
Surfed Arts, which purported to be a genuine ticket agency, drove traffic to the site through a series of flash sales on Facebook. Facebook adverts were targeted at people living in specific areas where there are sold-out shows this summer, including fans of Adele in London, Ed Sheeran in Manchester, Iron Maiden in Birmingham, Coldplay in Cardiff and Bruno Mars in Leeds.
“These figures demonstrate that ticket fraud is a continuing problem and that, too often, people are misled by fake promises”
Women aged over 65 and living in London were most likely to try to buy the fake tickets, with men and women aged 35–44 in Birmingham the least inclined.
“These figures demonstrate that ticket fraud is a continuing problem and that, too often, people are misled by fake promises,” comments STAR chief executive Jonathan Brown. “Fraudsters prey on the anticipation and excitement that surround our fantastic sports and entertainment industries.
‘It is vital that customers take care when buying tickets. Protect yourself by following safe ticket-buying advice and by taking time to research the authorised sellers for an event before parting with any money.”
Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.