Scam in Focus – Concert Ticket Scams

With lots of music concerts and sporting events taking place in summer for the first time in 3 years, we’d like to warn people to take extra care when buying tickets.

Ticket fraud is when you buy tickets from a website or agent for a music concert or festival, a sporting contest such as a football match or rugby tournament, or a live comedian or performer, but the tickets either aren’t delivered, or turn out to be fake and you can’t get a refund.

Action Fraud says victims lost around £1.5 million to online ticket scams in 2019 (the last time data was collected) – nearly 5,000 people reported being scammed at an average of £365 each.

How it happens: Spot the signs

You may find a website advertised via email or social media offering you the chance to buy tickets to a popular event.

But fraudsters can easily invent their own bogus ticket retail companies; their websites are easy to make and look genuine. Some even use a name or website address very similar to a legitimate ticket sales website.

Protect yourself: Tips to avoid ticket fraud

Only buy tickets from the venue’s box office, the promoter, an official ticket agent or a well-known and reputable ticket exchange site. Look at the artist’s website and see who they recommend you buy tickets from.

Fraudsters create fake websites that look similar to a genuine site, so people should double check the web address to make sure they’re on the correct website.

Is the vendor a member of Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (STAR)? If they are, you’re buying from a company that has signed up to their strict governing standards. STAR also offers a service to help customers with outstanding complaints.

Check the contact details of the site you’re buying the tickets from. There should be a landline phone number and a full postal address. Avoid using the site if there is only a PO Box address and mobile phone number, as it could be difficult to get in touch after you buy tickets.

Before entering any payment details on a website, make sure the web address starts with https (the ‘s’ stands for secure). There should be a locked padlock icon in the browser’s address bar.

Should you choose to buy tickets from an individual (for example on eBay or on social media), never transfer the money directly into their bank account but use a secure payment site such as PayPal. See also PayPal warning: Paying someone you don’t know? DON’T use ‘friends and family’ (

Paying for your tickets by credit card will offer increased protection over other payments methods, such as debit card, cash, or money transfer services for tickets over £100. Avoid making payments through bank transfer or money transfer services, as the payment may not be recoverable.

How to report it

Go to or call 0300 123 2040, the national reporting centre on cyber crime.