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Ticket Scams: Time to face the music

From Taylor Swift to the next up-and-comer, music touring and concert tickets have become a highly lucrative money spinner for the global music industry. Sadly, despite this ticket scams abound – posing a potential risk as fans look to plan their next gig. To avoid being duped, we take a look at how to protect yourself today.

Why music tickets?

In the world of streaming, music tickets reign supreme. Covering all price points, genres and consumers, they have fast become the biggest way to show support and make memories for fans and artists worldwide. What’s more, as avid fans compete online in their thousands, with the hottest shows selling out instantly, the clamour for a coveted “golden ticket” has never been greater. From individual gigs to headline festivals like Glastonbury, no musician is immune to this online demand – meaning anyone is potentially at risk of scammers.

Taking advantage of this growing demand, many criminals are cashing in by promoting unscrupulous – and unreal – ticket scams. Going one step beyond ticket touts, these scams pose a serious threat for fans and the musicians they support. Here’s how to protect yourself.

What to look out for

While ticket resales may be genuine and people will always need to sell them on last-minute, beware what, how and where you buy. Listed below, we recommend considering the following whenever you buy:

The price isn’t always right

While a reseller may wish to quickly make a ticket sale, even at a loss, when it comes to scams price is inevitably a factor. As well always say, remember this: if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.

That said, while obvious or unrealistic markdowns may be a sign of a scam, a higher price is no safety guarantee – as our tips below show.

Avoid unofficial marketplaces

If you happen to find the perfect “steal”, watch out where it is being advertised. Frustrating though official sales channels like Ticketmaster may be, they come with key consumer protections.

If you’re not sure about the marketplace you’re on, check its terms and conditions. If the website doesn’t have any or protections are non-existent, this could indicate it’s a scam.

Take care on social media

When it comes to last-minute resales, sellers will often turn to the likes of Twitter, Facebook or Instagram to advertise music tickets. While these can often be legitimate, social media is a magnet for ticket scams.

To avoid being caught out, we recommend scouring a seller’s profile for information. A blank profile is a clear red flag; however, additional clues such as disabled comments, a short profile history or low friend / follower counts are all worth an extra look.

ticket scams blank profile

When it comes to making a transaction, assuming the profile makes the grade, it doesn’t stop there. If a seller’s communication style seems off, or there’s a demand for a certain payment method this could also signify it’s a scam.

To best protect yourself, a credit card remains the safest payment method – with card companies typically refunding the cost if you can prove you’ve been defrauded.

Keep a ‘paper trail’

With the vast majority of ticket transactions occurring online, it’s more important than ever to keep a record of digital receipts, conversations and screenshots. Remember, on certain platforms once the scam has taken place, sellers can and will block you – which may delete your entire interaction.

Report ticket scams

Finally, if you happen to stumble across ticket scams or are caught out yourself, the best thing you can do is report them. As well as potentially recouping your money, this action will help keep platforms clear from ticket scams, deter unscrupulous criminals and save fellow fans from future heartache.

A last word from us

With ticket scams growing every day, it’s more important than ever to protect yourself and others. Just last week, while we were delighted to be quoted about Taylor Swift scams, we wish we didn’t have to make this statement. Nevertheless, as our Head of Nurture Mary Kernohan asserts, for any disappointed ‘Swifties’ (or music fans in general) it’s worth remembering the following:

‘Given Taylor Swift’s popularity and the fact that this is her first tour in the UK for a long time, it’s not surprising her tickets are in high demand. But this also makes them a highly attractive target for criminals.

This could range from spoofing legitimate domains […] to building online discount ticket outlets, where people believe they are purchasing something genuine, but when they insert their bank details they are stolen and defrauded for money.

To prevent this, it is advised that consumers only purchase tickets from authorised sellers and ignore suspicious emails with discounts on tickets.’

To learn more information and top tips on avoiding online scams and counterfeits, check out our resources page. Finally, for any concerned businesses, musicians and marketplaces looking to proactively protect themselves online, contact us now.


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