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Ticket Safety

You buy tickets from a website but after you have paid the tickets are not delivered and your calls and emails go unanswered. Sometimes you are told that a customer representative will meet you at the venue on the day but nobody turns up. You are left out of pocket and unable to attend the event.

Just Tick It

The ‘Just Tick It’ campaign aims to increase consumer awareness of scam ticket websites and provide ticket buyers with helpful and practical advice on how to avoid being scammed in this way.

Consumers purchasing tickets online can tick off a number of things to ask themselves before they buy.

  • How has the website got these tickets to sell? Check with the venue to find out when tickets are being released for sale and when the tickets will be sent out.
  • Who is the website registered to? And how long has it been registered? You can search for domain name registration details using an online search tool.
  • What are others saying about the website? Search the internet to find out what other people’s experiences have been.
  • How can you contact the company? Check that you know their full geographic address and check they have a working landline phone number.
  • Can they provide ticket details? Ensure that the face value of the tickets and the seat location are clearly listed.
  • Do they provide refunds? Make sure there is a refund policy in case something goes wrong.
  • What else should you check? Visit www.consumerdirect.gov.uk/ticketscams for information on all the things you need to look out for.

Ticket scams

You buy tickets from a website but after you have paid the tickets are not delivered and your calls and emails go unanswered. Sometimes you are told that a customer representative will meet you at the venue on the day but nobody turns up. You are left out of pocket and unable to attend the event.

When buying tickets online there are a number of things that you can check to protect yourself from scammers. Check out a mock scam website, click here

What should I look out for?

There are a lot of legitimate websites and scammers make it difficult for you to spot a fake. It is easy to set up a fancy looking website that looks genuine, or has a name similar to a genuine website. Professional fraudsters are at work.

The following are a number of things that you should consider before buying.

  • Is the site making claims that sound too good to be true? Are they selling tickets to events that haven’t gone on sale yet? Are they guaranteeing you tickets to events that have been sold out for months? What do you know about the website?
    • Check where the website registered and who it is registered to. How long has the website been registered? You can search for domain name registrant information using an online search tool, such as www.whois.com and www.nominet.org.uk (for.uk domain names).
    • Always check for feedback, both positive and negative. Enter the website name into a search engine.
    • What do you know about the company you’re buying from?
    • Where is their office? Companies must supply the full geographic address where their business is established, not just a P.O. Box or mailbox number. Check out the address using a search engine – you can often find out if it is just a mail forwarding service.
    • How can you contact them? Do they have a landline number in the UK? Does this number work? Is it automated and/or require you to leave messages on an answer phone? Be wary if they only supply you with an email address or mobile phone number
    • If a company sells over the VAT threshold per annum they are required to have a UK VAT number. Does the company have a UK VAT number?

Be aware of similar scams on online auctions and social networking websites

How can I protect myself?

  • Be aware of how and when tickets for the event are being distributed by checking with the event organiser, promoter or venue where the event will be held. Find out more about who sells tickets to events here
  • What type of seat/ticket are you buying? Ask for details.
  • What is the face value of the ticket? How much is the ticket being sold for and are there any additional charges? When will the ticket be dispatched and how will you be notified?
  • What happens if things go wrong? What is the company’s policy on refunds?
  • Buying football tickets? Remember under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act, it is illegal to re-sell football tickets unless expressly authorised.
  • Pay for tickets by credit card. Under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974, as amended, the card issuer is jointly liable for the failure to provide goods or services provided that the cash price of a single ticket is over £100.
  • When booking online check that the payment pages are secure by looking for a padlock symbol or making sure the website address begins with an https prefix.
  • Always print out a copy of your order and a copy of the acknowledgement you should receive from the company.

What if I get scammed?

If you believe you have been a victim of a scam you can:

Take action:

  • Report the incident to the police and get a crime reference number.
  • Advise the website’s Internet Service Provider that you have reported the incident to the police.
  • Help others by sharing your experiences, both good and bad, by writing reviews when you make purchases.

Recovering Your Money:

Once your money has been taken it can be very difficult to get it back, however you might be able to make a claim from your card provider or insurance company.

  • If you paid by credit card then contact your card issuer immediately in writing. Under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974, as amended, the card issuer is jointly liable for the failure to provide goods or services, provided that the cash price of a single ticket is over £100 (but not more than £30,000).
  • If you paid by debit card you are not covered by section 75 and there is no legal obligation on the card provider to reimburse you. You may though be able to ask for money back under the ‘chargeback’ procedure operated by members of the Visa and Mastercard schemes – speak to your bank to see if this is possible.
  • Check your home insurance policy. Some have clauses covering fraud protection.

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