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Football fans told to be on guard against match ticket scams

Football tickets not coming home: fans warned of scams that emerged at the end of last season, driven by fake offers for big clubs

  • Reported match ticket scams up two-thirds in second half of last season
  • Victims lose an average of £410, although this could be thousands for some
  • Fans of major clubs and national teams are most often targeted
  • Facebook and Twitter the most common hunting grounds for fraudsters

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Football fans looking forward to the new Premier League season kicking off tonight should be wary of match ticket scams, new data shows.

According to an analysis by Lloyds Bank, these scams increased by more than two-thirds in the second half of last season, with victims losing an average of £410 and in some cases thousands of pounds.

It comes just days after an 87,192-strong crowd at Wembley saw the Lionesses win the European Championship by beating Germany 2-1 and Arsenal kicking off the Premier League season tonight against Crystal Palace.

Lloyds warns that fans of big clubs and national teams are most likely to be targeted, with criminals preying on their desperation to attend matches knowing most major matches across the country will be sold out.

The number of reported cases of football ticket scams has increased by more than two-thirds in the second half of last season, with victims losing an average of £410

The number of reported cases of football ticket scams has increased by more than two-thirds in the second half of last season, with victims losing an average of £410

Liz Ziegler, director of retail fraud and financial crime at Lloyds Bank, said: ‘Fraudsters are always looking for new ways to extort their hard-earned money from victims, and as pandemic restrictions come to an end, they wasted no time targeting football fans while they flowed back to stadiums.

“It’s easy to let our emotions get the better of us when we follow our favorite team.

“But while that passion creates a great atmosphere in grounds across the country, it’s important not to get carried away by the excitement when it comes to buying tickets to a match.

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

“These criminals are ready to disappear as soon as they get their hands on your money.”

How the scam works

Purchase scams occur when someone is tricked into sending money via wire transfer to buy goods or services – often advertised online or through social media – that don’t exist.

Twitter and Facebook are often the starting points for the vast majority of these scams, according to Lloyds.

When tickets are scarce, fraudsters know they can cash in on desperate supporters willing to pay a lot more.

It is not surprising that fans of the so-called ‘Big Six’ clubs in England (Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea) and the national team – in other words, where the demand for tickets is greatest – most likely to be victimized.

Once the money is paid, the fraudster disappears and the victim gets nothing in return.

How to stay safe when buying football tickets

Many people are not aware that bank transfers are not intended to pay for goods and services, and offer little protection if something goes wrong.

It’s the electronic equivalent of just handing your money to someone on the street.

However, credit card buyers benefit from the well-established Section 75 rules that have protected customers for decades.

Debit card payments and purchases are not covered by Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.

However, it is possible to make a claim for a refund under a voluntary system called a chargeback.

The English Premier League makes it clear that people who want to buy tickets for matches should buy them directly from the clubs. Clubs must also provide details of authorized ticket partners on their official website.

It’s also important to remember that fraudsters target any major event where the demand for tickets is likely to exceed supply.

Low prices and seemingly great deals are often used to disguise scams. But remember: When demand is high for a game to sell out, fraudsters may charge more to deceive desperate buyers.

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