Posted: Tue 9th Apr 2024

Efforts Underway to Combat Ticket Scams in North Wales – BBC Report Highlights Issue

news.wales / newyddion.cymru

As a BBC report emerged this week over Gwynedd fans being scammed as they  tried to buy tickets for the upcoming Taylor Swift summer concert – efforts are being made to help the North Wales public stay safe online.
Concerns have also been expressed over the “potential high demand” for some of the Euro 24 tickets coming up, and the risk that some may fall victim to fake ticket sales.
Many a football or music fan knows the disappointment of a big game or a gig selling out quickly.
As some turn to social media, online marketplaces or fan forums – some may unknowingly open themselves up to fraud.
So, this April, ahead of events a raft of measures, tips and online features have been launched to help people stay safe while buying tickets online.
The help has come from North Wales Police and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) for North Wales who have been working with online safety experts ‘Get Safe Online.’
The measures have been highlighted in the same week that the BBC reported that Sian Williams from Blaenau Ffestiniog had attempted to purchase tickets for her daughter Efa to attend Swift’s highly publicised tour.
Sian was left £250 down after mistakenly thinking she was buying from a trustworthy source.
In North Wales, over the past 12 months, there have been 59 cases of ticketing fraud, with a loss of around £17,500. In 2024, there was 10 cases, a loss of £3650.
The figures are now “starting to go up – and there had been an increase in reports of 200% between February and March rising from two reports up to six”.
Although the figures may sound low, it was noted that the real figure could be much higher as this type of fraud often never gets reported.
“Some people will put it down to a bad decision or will make a claim via their bank,” an OPCC spokesperson said.
It was noted the fact that the Taylor Swift incident had been widely reported by the BBC had shown that it was “clearly an issue” and people were “becoming more aware in the past few weeks”.
PC Dewi Owen of North Wales Police’s Cyber Crime team, said: “According to Action Fraud, over 7,000 people fell victim to ticket fraud in 2022, amounting to losses of over £6.7 million with the average victim losing hundreds of pounds each.”
The Get Safe Online organisation has been commissioned by the OPCC and North Wales Police, to share vital information and advice to avoid scams.
PC Owen said: “Many people will be looking forward to attending summer events. However, online criminals see this as an opportunity to target potential festival goers and sports fans with offers on fraudulent tickets.
“We are urging everyone across North Wales to be wary of online fraudsters selling fake or non-existent tickets.
“With Taylor Swift tickets in high demand this summer and venues sold out across Europe, police across England and Wales have received a high number of reports about victims being targeted on online marketplaces by scammers who claim to be selling their Taylor Swift tickets as they can no longer attend.
“There will undoubtedly be high demand for some of the Euro 24 tickets this summer too.
“Tickets should only be paid for and transferred through official sellers and websites and wherever possible pay using a credit card, or payment services such as PayPal which give you a better chance of recovering the money if you become a victim of fraud.”
He also advised people avoid paying for tickets by bank transfer, especially if buying from someone unknown and urged people to “beware” of unsolicited e-mails, messages or social media posts about “unbelievably good deals” on tickets especially if they are in high demand or sold out.
“If it seems too good to be true, then it probably is, ” he said.
If buying from a vendor, check that they are a member of Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (STAR). The company has signed up to strict governing standards. STAR also offers an approved Alternative Dispute Resolution service to help customers with outstanding complaints. For more information visit: www.star.org.uk/buy_safe
Purchasing tickets online could also mean losing your tickets if your e-mail or other online account is hacked.
PC Owen advises protecting important online accounts with strong, long and unique passwords.
“Using three random words and joining them together is a good way to create a strong and memorable password,” he said.
“We encourage everyone to turn on 2-step verification on their accounts, as it adds an additional layer of security.”
If you want to learn how, visit the Cyber Aware website Cyber Aware – NCSC.GOV.UK
Tips to help people stay safe include:
No matter how desperate you are to get into a gig, festival, or game, never buy tickets from anyone, apart from the venue’s box office, sports club, promoter, official agent or reputable ticket exchange sites.
Consider that tickets advertised on any other source such as auction sites, social media and fan forums may be fake or non-existent – however authentic the seller may seem.
Don’t be tempted to click on social media, text or email links or attachments offering tickets – they could link to fraudulent or malware sites.
Paying for tickets by bank transfer – however desperate you are to get hold of them – could result in you losing your money if it’s a fraud. The responsibility for losses lies with you.
Check sellers’ privacy and returns policies.
Consider paying by credit card to get additional protection over other payment methods.
Double-check all details of your purchase before confirming payment.
Before buying online check that the page is genuine – carefully enter the address yourself, not from a link and secure (‘https’ and a locked padlock), and log out when you’ve completed the transaction.
To check if a website is likely to be legitimate or fraudulent visit www.getsafeonline.org/checkawebsit
Also always keep receipts until after the event.
Tony Neate, CEO at Get Safe Online added: “In a ticket scam, the seller tells you they’ll post or email the tickets as soon as you’ve transferred the money to their bank account.
“When you try to contact them after nothing’s arrived, they’ve disappeared into thin air. Chances are, dozens of other people have fallen victim to the same fraud.
“Don’t be caught out, try to follow our top tips to ensure you buy tickets safely.”
For free, advice to stay safe visit: www.getsafeonline.org ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



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