Experts Warn of Fake Football Ticket Scams

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Football fans have been warned to exercise caution online after news emerged that fraudsters are increasingly taking to social media to sell non-existent tickets.

Lloyds Bank data revealed that incidents surged by 68% between January and June this year, with an average loss of £410 per victim.

Unsurprisingly, tickets for the top six English clubs plus internationals and European games are the most sought after, and therefore most at risk of scams like this. Some victims have lost thousands of pounds on fake tickets for big matches such as cup finals, according to the high street lender.

The fear is that fraudsters will double down on these tactics as the new Premier League season gets underway in the UK this coming weekend.

Typically, scammers post adverts for tickets on social media, often accompanied by a fake image, and then request payment via bank transfer. Unlike card payments, this will provide no fraud protection to the victim.

“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," said Liz Ziegler, Lloyds Bank's retail fraud and financial crime director.

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

Tickets for concerts and other sold-out events are also a favorite of scammers. Lloyds said fraud cases involving the former had risen by 72% so far in 2022.

Javvad Malik, lead security awareness advocate at KnowBe4, warned consumers that if a deal appears too good to be true, it usually is.

“While it can be tempting to buy tickets from touts or other unauthorized channels, people should always do their due diligence as to what kind of website or individual they are making purchases from,” he added.

“In particular, they should look out for red flags such as pushy sales techniques, limited offers, heavily discounted prices, or payments requested through unconventional channels such as through bank transfers."

Jamie Akhtar, CEO of CyberSmart, said football and concert ticket scams have been popular with cyber-criminals for years.

“If you do find yourself buying on the reseller market, stick to licensed ticket resellers and avoid buying from strangers on social media,” he advised. “For every legitimate fan selling a ticket, there will be dozens of fraudsters looking to make a quick buck or steal your financial details.”

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