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If you’re looking to buy tickets for an event then remember to be on the lookout and aware of ticket scam frauds. 

How the Scam Works 

Ticket scams typically involve fraudsters setting up bogus websites or social media profiles purporting to sell tickets for popular concerts, sports games, theatre shows and other live events. These fake sites are designed to look remarkably similar to legitimate ticket vendors, sometimes copying official branding and imagery. Recently, a more popular method is for the fraudsters to actively sell these fraudulent tickets (which won’t actually exist) on social media channels, messaging apps, and online marketplace platforms. 

The criminals lure victims with promises of tickets to sold-out or highly in-demand events at steep discounts that seem too good to be true. Once payment is made, either no tickets arrive, or the buyer receives counterfeit or cancelled tickets that are not valid for entry. 

Common Tactics 

  • Advertising on social media, messaging apps, email, text messages or fake websites. 
  • Using URLs that look similar to real vendor sites but are in fact fake copied sites. 
  • Claiming to be a “fan” or “friend” reselling spare tickets. 
  • Requesting payment via bank transfer or unconventional methods. 
  • Offering to have a “representative” meet in-person to deliver tickets. 

Protecting Yourself 

To avoid falling victim to ticket fraud, only purchase from authorised vendors such as the venue box office, event promoters, official agents listed on the organiser’s website, or trustworthy resale platforms like those certified by the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (STAR). 

Other precautions include: 

  • Never transfer money directly to an individual’s account via a bank transfer. 
  • If paying via Paypal, don’t be talked into using the ‘friends and family’ option, removing buyer protection and the option of a refund. 
  • If an option, use a credit card for extra purchase protection. 
  • Check website security features like https:// and site contact details for clues on website legitimacy. 
  • Be wary of offers for sold-out events at drastically reduced prices. 
  • Research unfamiliar resellers and check their online reviews. 

If you suspect you have been defrauded, report it immediately to Police Scotland by calling 101 and contact your bank to prevent further unauthorised transactions. 

If you’ve been a victim 

If you arrive at the event and your tickets are rejected as fraudulent, do not attempt to use them as it could cause further issues. Calmly explain the situation to venue staff and request they document the issue and take possession of the fake tickets. 

You should then: 

  • Report any fraud to Police Scotland by calling 101. 
  • Gather all documentation like emails, messages sent, phone numbers, receipts, and fake tickets. 
  • Contact your bank and initiate a fraud claim for any losses if paid via bank or credit card. 
  • Report the scam website or seller to the appropriate hosting platforms. 

While ticket scams can be disheartening for fans eager to attend their favourite events, being a savvy consumer and taking the proper precautions with ticket purchases is an effective way to protect yourself. By verifying sellers, watching for red flags, and only buying through authorised vendors and platforms, you can confidently secure authentic tickets and avoid falling victim to fraudsters. 

Stay informed about common scam tactics, trust your instincts if something seems amiss, and don’t let the fear of fraud deter you from enjoying the live entertainment experiences you love.