Lloyds Bank warns football fans to beware of fake ticket scams ahead of new season

·3-min read
Ticket scams are targeting top-flight football matches (AP)
Ticket scams are targeting top-flight football matches (AP)

As the new football season gets underway, Lloyds Bank is warning fans that it has seen a recent surge in ticket scams.

Analysis conducted by the bank suggests reported cases of football-related ticket scams increased by more than two-thirds between January and June this year, compared to July to December 2021.

This surge is due to increasing demand for attendance to live events after the end of coronavirus pandemic restrictions.

But the bank warned that the start of the Premier League season this weekend could see another surge in ticket scams.

How does the scam work?

Criminals are reportedly using social media sites, such as Twitter and Facebook, to offer fake tickets for the biggest games which are already sold out.

They target top-flight football, such as matches between the top six clubs in England, European games and internationals matches, taking advantage of fans’ desperation to watch their team.

They often fool fans by using bogus pictures of tickets, or publishing fabricated stories about why they cannot attend the game to sound more legitimate.

Retail fraud and financial crime director at Lloyds Bank, Liz Ziegler, warned fans not to get too caught up in the excitement of watching their favourite teams live that they are not careful about where they purchase their tickets.

She said: “The vast majority of these scams start on social media, where it’s all too easy for fraudsters to use fake profiles and advertise items that simply don’t exist.

“Buying directly from the clubs or their official ticket partners is the only way to guarantee you’re paying for a real ticket.”

According to the bank, the average loss is £410, with some victims losing as much as £2,000 on fraudulent tickets for major events such as cup finals.

Scammers demand payment for the tickets by bank transfer, also known as ‘faster payment’, which offers no protection to consumers.

Once the money is sent, they disappear, leaving behind an anonymous, untraceable online identity and a victim left out of pocket.

How can buyers protect themselves against scams?

Lloyd Bank warned that if payment cannot be made by credit or debit card, it is a big red flag that the transaction is a scam.

Using debit or credit cards when shopping online gives buyers extra protection, because they will benefit from Section 75 and Chargeback rules.

When using a credit card, Section 75 protection means that the card provider could be responsible for compensating a buyer if the goods or services they bought are not as advertised.

Under chargeback rules, a card provider can get a buyer’s money back from the bank it was sent to if they do not get the goods or services they paid for.

There has also been a marked increase in purchase scams targeting tickets for concerts, with fraud sales for gigs having gone up by 72% so far this year, so music fans should be wary too.

Lloyds Bank warned that fraudsters will target any major event, such as festivals, where demand for tickets is likely to exceed supply.

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