Today the BBC has reported that consumer protection laws are being exploited by some online ticket sales companies. There is a new ticket scam that is on the increase at the moment, however it is doing the old trick of taking money from customers credit cards but never sending any tickets.
It is estimated that the scam generated over £12 million each year. The main market seems to be concert tickets, festival tickets and comedy shows.
The BBC shared the following example of an onlinee ticket fraud. This email was received after a person ordered tickets for a Peter Kay show:
“Unfortunately we have been let down by our suppliers for the show and will be unable to provide you with the tickets ordered,” the scam email reads.
“Due to us not using the merchant terminal that charged you anymore we are unable to issue a refund from our side. To ensure you get the refund owed please contact your card issuer and instruct them to perform a chargeback to retrieve the funds paid… unfortunately we are unable to return the money to you from our side by any means.”
So the credit card companies refund the clients and the scammers keep the cash.
According to the BBC the fruadsters “buy sponsored online links”, which means they perform search engine marketing with advertising and also improve their search engine rankings by buying links.
1 in 12 Ticket Buyers Scammed
According to the Office of Fair Trading as many as 1 in 12 tickets bought online are from fraudulent websites.
The police take action against scam sites but it is often hard to take a site offline when it is hosted in another country.
National Fraud Authority
The National Fraud Authority run Action Fraud. UK customers that feel that they have been the victim of fraud can file a report here: http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report-a-fraud-including-online-crime
SafeConcerts Not Recommended Sites
Safeconcerts.com provide a list of sites that they suggest you “think twice” about before purchasing from. You can find the list here: www.safeconcerts.com/tickets/not-recommended.asp
Generally be wary of any ticket website that has the name of the concert in the title, so WhamTickets.com (site not currently in use) would be one to avoid, if it was 1985.