More than 1,500 people tried to buy music tickets from a fake website set up to highlight ticket fraud.
The Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (STAR) launched the scheme in partnership with the City Of London Police, Action Fraud and internet security awareness initiative Get Safe Online to show members of the public how easy it is to be tricked into buying fake tickets online. During a series of Facebook flash sales over 1,500 people tried to purchase music tickets from a fake ticket sales website called Surfed Arts.
“These figures demonstrate that ticket fraud is a continuing problem and that, too often, people are misled by fake promises,” said Jonathan Brown (pictured), chief executive of the STAR:
The Facebook adverts were targeted at fans of Adele in London, Ed Sheeran in Manchester, Iron Maiden in Birmingham, Coldplay in Cardiff and Bruno Mars fans in Leeds. Those who clicked through to the website, which purported to be a secondary ticketing provider, were immediately told that they were not able to purchase the sold out event tickets and advised on how to protect themselves from falling victim to real ticket fraudsters in the future.
“It is vital that customers take care when buying tickets,” added Brown. “Protect yourself by following safe ticket-buying advice and by taking time to research the authorised sellers for an event before parting with any money.
“STAR and its members are committed to providing customers with high standards of service and information and to playing our part in helping you avoid the fraudsters.”
Tony Neate, CEO of Get Safe Online, added: “Many of the adverts for these fake tickets seem like ‘too good to be true’ offers, with tickets often being heavily discounted. However, this means people often act before thinking. The ‘Surfed Arts’ ticket hoax clearly demonstrates how easily we can be duped when we think there is an offer to be had. Luckily our scam didn’t have a nasty surprise at the end, but some useful information on how to protect yourself against ticket fraudsters."
In the last three years more than 21,000 people have reported falling victim to ticket fraudsters and the majority of these reports concern the secondary ticket market and other secondary sources such as social media or independent ticket websites.