£1.3 Million Lost To Ticket Fraud in Six Month Period, According to New Report

Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran and One Direction concerts among those targeted.

British music fans were robbed of almost £1.3 ($2 million) through purchasing counterfeit music and entertainment tickets in the second half of this year, according to new research from U.K. fraud and internet crime reporting organization Action Fraud.

The U.K.-specific figures cover a six month period to the end of October 2015, during which 2,885 instances of ticket fraud were reported to the British authorities. The median loss suffered per victim was £205.00 ($310.00), with a large number of cases relating to two online ticket websites: Circle Tickets and GetSporting.com, both of which have since had their websites shut down by the National Fraud Investigation Bureau.

Concerts by Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, AC/DC, Fleetwood Mac, Foo Fighters and One Direction, as well as U.K. festivals and high-profile sporting events such as the recent Rugby World Cup, were among those targeted by ticket fraudsters, says Action Fraud. The organization also notes that the figures only represent reported cases of counterfeit ticketing and that the real number is likely to be far higher.

"This level of ticket fraud shows that as an industry we have to come together to help ticket buyers avoid ticket sellers who deliberately set out to defraud them,” said Rob Edwards, managing director of ticketing company Eventim UK.  

To that end, a new public awareness campaign to tackle ticket fraud has been launched by the Society of Ticket Agents & Retailers (STAR), encouraging consumers to only buy tickets from registered vendors who display the official STAR kitemark or logo. The initiative, which carries the catchy moniker #lookfortheSTAR, is backed by the Concert Promoters Association (CPA), National Arenas Association (NAA), the Musicians’ Union and the Society of London Theatre, as well as Action Fraud, Metropolitan Police and City of London Police.

Existing STAR members include Ticketmaster, See Tickets, TicketWeb, ATG Tickets, The Ticket Factory, Eventim and Ticketline, as well as a number of theatre and concert venues across the country -- all of whom sign up to a code of practice guaranteeing that any ticket sold is from a reliable source.  

"As well as cheating the consumer, every case of fraud damages the reputation of Britain's vital entertainment and sporting industries,” commented STAR chairman Adrian Sanders upon launching the scheme. “Buying tickets from a STAR kite marked seller will give consumers the confidence that their purchase comes with certain guarantees that protect their rights,”


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