Buying faulty tickets can be a really tough experience. Not only did you spend your hard earned money but you missed out on a show, festival or a gig that you did really want to see.
In the last three years, over 21,000 people have fallen victim to ticket fraud, costing the events and the people up to 17 million pounds.
Don’t worry, there are some tell tale signs and clues that you can take into account to make sure that this never happens to you.
Friends and family
Firstly, realise that you do not always have to head to ticket sites to grab yourself some last minute passes.
Ask around your friends and family to see if they have any spare tickets going, sometimes you can pick up a ticket at ‘mates rates’ meaning that you won’t have to spend too much money.
Another great tip is to head over to social media to start asking around for a ticket.
The downside to social media is that people can sometimes sell print screened copies of tickets at staggering prices, meaning that the barcode is usually faulty and void.
A great way to get around this is to enquire about where the ticket was first purchased from, sites like ticketmaster have a ticket transfer system, meaning that your ticket will have a new barcode made for it.
Make sure that you do not buy any tickets, unless you know the person closely, off of social media sites unless you have ensured that they have used a ticket transfer process.
If you are buying a ticket from anyone on FaceBook, ensure that the person you are buying from has a legitimate looking profile.
For example, if they haven’t posted anything in two years and appear to have no profile picture set, then you may want to be careful.
Research the company and the site carefully.
Sometimes, ticket frauders will go to ‘impressive’ heights to fool their customers, making completely fake sites!
These sites will often look incredibly similar to the original site, meaning that they can easily fool you into clicking and purchasing some tickets.
The likely result will be that the ticket does not arrive and in the vast majority of cases, refunds are not available.
To avoid using fake scam sites, there are main areas that you need to check.
First, check that the site has a full, legitimate postal address- you can always google it to find out!- and a full landline number.
If the site only has one mobile number, which tends to ring out when called, then there is a good chance that it is definitely not legitimate!
ALWAYS check the URL, making sure that it has ‘https’ at the start of the link, the ‘s’ stands for secure, meaning that the site is legitimate.
It’s always a good idea to check for a little padlock symbol in the search window, this means that the site is secure as well!
It is also good to check through the site to see if there are any misspellings or mistakes on the website.
When paying, ensure that the site directs you to your bank using a third party service! Ensure that this third party service site is also protected by looking for the usual signs of spelling, URL padlock symbols and the letter ‘S’ for secure.
Finally, have a quick look to check if there is a sticker on the site that reads STAR, this stands for Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers and means that the company are under strict rules and regulations that allow for full refunds, complaints and enquiries.
Make sure that you always buy your tickets from well known sites, or that you pick them up in person from the box office at the venue.
Avoid buying tickets at discount prices from ticket sellers outside of events.
If you do end up buying a ticket from a seller online, make sure that you pay them money using paypal, not with your debit card details. Through paying with PayPal you are protected and can also ask for a full refund if the tickets are faulty or- more likely- if the tickets do not even arrive.
Make sure that you always check the seller’s return policy to make sure that you can return them if they are faulty.
If you do use your own form of payment, then make sure to opt for a credit card, it will be much easier to cancel the payment and to request a refund.
Always keep your receipts via email to use as evidence if you ever have to claim back your money.
Finally, always print off your statement each month and have a look through it to see if there are any irregularities or if someone has hold of your debit card details.