24 June, 2024

This summer, as we get closer to some of the most highly anticipated concerts/festivals, FraudSMART are warning consumers to watch out for ticket scams. Criminals take advantage of sold out and high demand events such as Taylor Swift and Coldplay when you’re desperate to get tickets to see your favourite artist. Understanding how these scams work is the first step in protecting yourself.

Types of Ticket Scams
  • Fake Ticket Websites

Criminals create professional-looking websites that mimic legitimate ticket sellers. These sites often rank artificially high on search engines because fraudsters use a range of techniques such as bots and fake reviews to boost their position, making them appear credible. Once a consumer purchases a ticket, the scammer either provides a fake ticket or takes the money and disappears, leaving the buyer empty-handed.

  • Social Media Marketplace and Classified Ads

Fraudsters use online platforms to sell counterfeit or non-existent tickets. They lure buyers with attractive prices and convincing stories. Once payment is made, usually through untraceable methods like wire transfers or prepaid cards, the scammer vanishes. Read this story about a Limerick woman who fell victim to a Taylor Swift ticket scam.

  • Ticket Reselling or Secondary Ticketing

It is always best to buy a ticket from the event’s official seller or from the venue. Some scammers purchase tickets to popular events and then resell them at higher prices, known as secondary ticketing. It is illegal to sell tickets for certain events or venues for more than face value. In addition, in some cases, the tickets are not valid, which means the ticket will be refused when trying to enter the event.

What can I do to best protect myself this summer?
  1. Buy from reputable sources:
  • Only buy tickets from the venue’s box office, the promoter, an official agent, or a well-known and reputable ticket exchange site.
  • Verify the website’s legitimacy by looking for secure transaction symbols (HTTPS) and reading reviews.
  1. Use Secure Payment Methods:
  • Avoid paying with electronic funds transfer or prepaid cards. Use reputable payment providers such as PayPal or use Visa/Mastercard debit or credit card.
  • Keep your computer’s security up to date with reliable antivirus and browser software.
  1. Check the Ticket:
  • Where possible, verify the ticket’s authenticity by checking with the official box office for the event.
  • Physical tickets often come with security features such as holograms, watermarks, and special inks that are difficult to replicate. Make sure to check for these features and compare them to official samples provided by the ticket issuer.
What do I do if I think I have fallen for this scam?  

If you think you have fallen victim to a ticket scam, report it to your bank and the Gardaí immediately.

Be Informed, Be Alert, Be Secure – Be FraudSMART