The U.K.'s Association of Secondary Ticket Agents (ASTA) has applauded the efforts of the Metropolitan Police in shutting down an online ticketing site, Paperticket.co.uk. ASTA says it's now more important than ever for government action to enable consumers to identify legitimate traders.

ASTA, which represents more that 50 ticket brokers in the U.K., has been lobbying the government to take action to protect consumers against ticket fraud. It has backed a 'Kitemark' scheme - a recognized symbol that guarantees certain standards of service - for ticketing sites. The concept was originally proposed by the Resale Rights Society, which was formed by artist managers.

"The government's failure to endorse a Kitemarking scheme means the consumer has no way of identifying legitimate traders, leaving them open to exploitation," said ASTA chairman Graham Burns in a statement.

Paperticket's Web site, www.paperticket.co.uk, now displays a message from the Metropolitan Police which reads: "On 16 October, the Metropolitan Police Service's Computer Crime Unit requested the dehosting of the www.paperticket.co.uk Web site under the Proceeds of Crime Act. People who have bought tickets from this site are encouraged to call Consumer Direct for advice on 08454 04 05 06."

The last six months has also seen the closure of SOS Master Tickets (Billboard.biz, Sept. 18) and Xclusive Tickets in the U.K. Paperticket's closure happened after ASTA alerted authorities of their concerns.

"We have been concerned for weeks that Paperticket was selling tickets for forthcoming concerts by the likes of Barry Manilow, Kings of Leon and the Killers at unrealistically low prices and we made our concerns known to the authorities," added Burns. "We would urge consumers only to buy tickets on the Internet from accredited suppliers or legitimate ticket brokers who have signed up to the ASTA Code of Conduct."

Paperticket.co.uk and thefootballticketshop.com have been summoned to a hearing at Hertford Magistrates Court on Oct. 29, with respect to selling unauthorized tickets to Premier League, FA and UEFA football matches.

Hertfordshire Trading Standards are yet to comment on Paperticket's involvement in selling unauthorized tickets to music events.

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