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So City have won this year’s Premier League title but there are still some big games coming up. Demand for tickets is high, despite high prices and a cost of living crisis. Scammers take advantage of the high demand for tickets, especially for popular and high-profile games such as the Champions League. Scammers exploit fans' enthusiasm and their burning desire to attend matches.
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What are football ticketing scams?

Football ticketing scams refer to fraudulent activities where individuals or groups deceive fans looking to purchase tickets for football matches.

Here are some examples of football ticketing scams:

  • Non-delivery of tickets: Scammers advertise tickets for sale online or through classified ads but fail to deliver the tickets after receiving payment. Victims are left without the tickets they paid for and often have no means of recourse
  • Fake ticket websites: Fraudsters create convincing websites that appear to be legitimate ticket vendors. They attract customers by offering tickets for highly sought-after matches. However, once the payment is made, the tickets never arrive, and the website disappears or becomes unresponsive
  • Counterfeit tickets: Scammers produce fake tickets that resemble genuine ones and sell them to unsuspecting fans. These counterfeit tickets may have authentic-looking logos, holograms, or barcodes, making it difficult for buyers to detect their illegitimacy until they are denied entry at the stadium
  • Ticket reselling at inflated prices: Some individuals or secondary ticketing platforms engage in legal yet unethical practices by reselling tickets at highly inflated prices. While not necessarily scams, these activities exploit fans who are desperate to secure tickets and are willing to pay exorbitant amounts.

Some real examples

Here are a few examples of real football ticketing scams that have occurred in recent years:

  • World Cup Ticket Scam (2018): During the 2018 FIFA World Cup held in Russia, several fans fell victim to scams involving fake or non-existent tickets. Scammers posed as ticket agents or online sellers, promising tickets to highly anticipated matches. Fans paid large sums of money but never received the tickets, resulting in disappointment and financial loss
  • Champions League Final Scam (2019): Prior to the UEFA Champions League Final in 2019, hosted in Madrid, scammers created fake ticket websites offering tickets to the match. These websites appeared genuine and even displayed official logos and branding. Fans unknowingly purchased tickets from these fraudulent sites, only to discover their tickets were invalid when they arrived at the stadium
  • Euro 2020 Ticket Scam (2021): The rescheduled UEFA Euro 2020 tournament, held in 2021, saw an increase in ticket scams due to the high demand for tickets. Scammers took advantage of fans' eagerness to attend matches and advertised tickets on online platforms and social media. Victims paid for the tickets but never received them, resulting in financial loss and missed opportunities to attend the games
  • Premier League Ticket Reselling Scams: There have been instances where individuals resell Premier League tickets at inflated prices, taking advantage of the limited availability of tickets for popular matches. These scalpers often operate on online platforms or through classified ads, misleading fans into paying significantly higher prices for tickets than their face value

These examples highlight the various ways scammers exploit football fans' passion and excitement for matches, often resulting in financial loss and disappointment. It’s important to remain cautious and keep checking when purchasing football tickets to avoid falling victim to these scams.

How can you stay safe from football ticketing scams?

Here are some tips:

  • Buy from official sources: Purchase tickets only from authorised and reputable sellers, such as the official club website, ticket office, or licensed ticket resellers. Research the official ticketing channels for the specific football event you want to go to
  • Beware of suspicious websites: Be cautious when buying from lesser-known websites. Look for secure payment methods, verified contact information, and positive customer reviews. Check the website's domain name and ensure it matches the official ticket vendor's website
  • Look out for fake websites: Watch out for websites that are made to look very like a genuine ticketing site, but aren’t what they seem
  • Check ticket authenticity: If buying tickets from individuals or secondary markets, request proof of purchase or receipts. Check the ticket's details, such as holograms, barcodes, and seating information. Compare the ticket with official samples or contact the club or stadium for verification if necessary
  • Use secure payment methods: Avoid making payments through wire transfers or untraceable methods. Use secure payment platforms that offer buyer protection, such as credit cards or trusted online payment services
  • Report suspected scams: If you encounter a fraudulent ticketing website or believe you’ve been scammed, report the incident to the local authorities and relevant consumer protection agencies such as Action Fraud. This helps to raise awareness and prevent others from falling victim to similar scams.

Could you score an own goal?

If you're a fan, you might be tempted by a ‘too good to be true’ offer of tickets that pops up in your social media or targets you through an email. But how did the scammers target you? Well, they may have captured certain information about you. They could have scraped data from Facebook and discovered you’re a fan and put that together with an email address they bought from the dark web.

Your information may have been compromised because a selection of your personal data has been lost in a data breach that has led to your data being sold by hackers to scammers who will use it against you.

The best way to avoid having your data stolen in a data breach is to make sure it’s not stored amongst any data that gets stolen. You can get your data deleted from any company that no longer needs it by using our Rightly Protect service. It’s quick, simple and free and will tell you just who has your data and give you the chance to instruct them to completely erase it, if that’s what you want to do.

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