Don’t be fooled by holiday and concert ticket fraudsters

 Following the announcement of the easing of lockdown restrictions over the coming months, many festivals and gigs have been announced with demand expected to be high. Some events have already sold out.

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) is warning buyers to take extra care when buying tickets online and urging people to be wary of fraudsters selling non-existent or fake tickets to events. 

Here’s how to protect yourself and spot the signs of ticket fraud:

  • Only buy tickets from the venue’s box office, official promoter or agent, or a reputable ticket site.
  • Avoid paying for tickets by bank transfer, especially if buying from someone unknown. Credit card or payment services such as PayPal offer greater protection against fraud.
  • Be wary of unsolicited emails, texts or adverts offering unbelievably good deals on tickets. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Is the vendor a member of STAR? If they are, the company has signed up to their strict governing standards. 

The ‘buyer beware’ message also applies if you’re planning to book a holiday, either in the UK or overseas, this summer. Action Fraud’s advice is:     

  • Don’t reply to unsolicited emails, texts, social media or calls offering holidays. Links and attachments in emails may download viruses or lead to malicious websites.
  • Book a holiday directly with an airline or hotel, or through a reputable agent. Check whether they’re a member of the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA).
  • If you deal directly with the property owner or a letting agent, ask them questions about the booking, room and location. Don’t book on websites that don’t have a padlock icon (https) and be extra cautious if you’re asked to pay using bank transfer or cash. Pay by credit or debit card if you can.

The danger signs are: 

  • You’re contacted by a company or travel agent you’ve never spoken to before, offering a holiday at a bargain price.
  • The details, pictures or address of the hotel or holiday home look suspicious. Independent website reviews aren’t favourable or don’t exist.
  • You’re asked to pay using bank transfer or cash. Pay by credit or debit card if you can.

If you have been a victim of fraud or cyber crime, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040. 

While we’re on the subject of fraud, you may wish to sign up to the Scam Alert service operated by consumer champions Which? Visit https://campaigns.which.co.uk/scam-alert-service/