Buying tickets online - checklist

People desperate to attend major pop concerts, music festivals and sporting events this summer face a greater risk of falling victim to criminals after online ticket fraud soared by 55 per cent.

More than £5 million was lost to online ticket fraud in the UK in 2015 – up from £3.35 million in 2014 – with social media sites now accounting for nearly half of all reported ticket scams. On average, customers who bought fake tickets lost £444 per transaction.

The National Trading Standards eCrime Team has produced a checklist to provide advice for fans scouring the web for tickets. 

  • Buy your tickets or check ticket availability with an official agent or reputable ticket supplier – if in doubt, check the website of the festival or event for more information on their official vendor
  • You should always avoid buying from secondary ticket sellers or tickets on social media – if you buy tickets through unofficial sources you may be refused entry. However, we know some music and sports fans desperate for tickets will search for opportunities to buy tickets from unauthorised vendors. If you are engaging with unofficial sellers you should always:
    • Research the seller/company thoroughly online
    • If it is a company, check how long they have been registered at Companies House (the longer the better - if they recently registered it could be a scam)
    • Check the seller or company online for unfavourable reviews on Site Jabber, Trust Pilot or Feefo and beware of false positive reviews, a favourite tactic of scammers
    • Check ticketing forums for unfavourable feedback and again beware of false positive reviews
  • When purchasing tickets online you should:
    • Use a credit card to pay for your tickets and never pay by direct money transfer
    • Only pay via encrypted payment facilities (look for the padlock in the address bar)
  • If you are in possession of genuine festival or concert tickets don’t post pictures of them online (they could be copied and your genuine tickets may become useless)
  • If you are concerned that a sale may be fraudulent we urge you to report it to the Citizens Advice consumer helpline by calling 03454 04 05 06.

Mike Andrews, lead co-ordinator for the National Trading Standards eCrime Team, said: 

“As summer music festival line-ups are announced and the squads for Euro 2016 are being confirmed, we expect criminals to exploit fans’ excitement by flogging fake tickets on forums, sham websites and social media.

“Criminals selling fake tickets online is becoming more and more prevalent – to avoid disappointment we urge fans to be on guard when purchasing sports and music tickets. Only those fans with official tickets will be guaranteed admission to concerts, festivals and sports events this summer - tickets not bought through official channels could be liable for cancellation.

“For fans considering snapping up any last-minute tickets, be sure to read our online ticket checklist. If you are concerned that a sale may be fraudulent we urge you to report it to the Citizens Advice consumer helpline by calling 03454 04 05 06.”

Notes to Editors

  1. The National Trading Standards Board is a group of senior and experienced local government heads of trading standards, representing all trading standards services across England and Wales. The Board has been set up by the Government as part of changes to the consumer protection landscape and an enhanced role for trading standards. More information on National Trading Standards is available here:
  2. Funded by the National Trading Standards Board, the National Trading Standards eCrime Team recognises that a secure and safe online environment that protects consumers and allows businesses to flourish is vital to the long term success of the UK economy.
  3. More information on the National Trading Standards eCrime team is available here: