Counterfeit bill scams on Facebook and Twitter are on the rise: Big banks issue an urgent warning
- The number of ticket scams on social media has more than doubled in the last year
- The average victim lost £107 and two-thirds of all scams originated from social media
- Criminals take advantage of sold-out events and waiting lists to increase ticket prices
Fake posts on Facebook and other social media platforms are causing a massive increase in people being scammed out of tickets, Money Mail can reveal.
The number of such scams reported to Santander in the first seven months of 2023 has more than doubled compared to a year ago, rising 144 percent, according to bank data transmitted to Money Mail.
The average victim who bought fake tickets lost £107, and two-thirds of all ticket scams originate from social media sites, Santander warns.
Separate data from TSB also shows that more than half of all ticket scams start on Facebook.
Meanwhile, 38 percent of TSB customers who reported losing money to scams say they found out about the fines on Twitter. They are followed by Instagram, WhatsApp and Snapchat.
Online Scams: The number of social media ticket scams has more than doubled in the past year
The two banks warn that scammers are using social media to take advantage of fans hoping to see their favorite band, football team, performance or festival, luring them into sending money with the promise of tickets that either don’t exist or they are never shipped. .
Opportunistic criminals take advantage of sold-out events and waiting lists to increase ticket prices and sell fake copies or duplicates of existing seats. Many will also offer “exclusive” tickets for events that aren’t on sale yet.
They make their tricks look credible by creating a fake company website or social media profile.
They then advertise the tickets on sales platforms like Facebook Marketplace, which allows its users to buy and sell among themselves.
Fake websites can be almost identical to those of the genuine company, and in some cases, the only sign that you are being scammed is a subtle difference in the web address, according to the anti-fraud initiative Take Five – To Stop Fraud.
In many cases, the buyer can even receive a copy of the ticket they have paid for by email or post.
However, it is only upon arrival at the event that the victim of the scam discovers that the ticket they had purchased in good faith is actually a fake, a duplicate, or has been reported as lost or stolen and therefore invalid.
Occasionally, scammers tell the buyer that a representative will meet them at the event to deliver the tickets, but then no one shows up.
Opportunistic criminals take advantage of sold-out events and waiting lists to increase ticket prices.
The only way to ensure you don’t get ripped off is to buy directly from the event organizer, venue box office, or official agent. If you’re using a ticket exchange site, check online reviews for any complaints or negative experiences.
Before making a purchase, the police advise buyers to check whether the organization selling tickets is part of the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers, which you can do at star.org.uk/all-members.
Younger buyers, ages 19 to 34, accounted for 60 percent of all ticket complaints, the bank found. However, people aged 35 and over generally reported the biggest losses, having paid an average of £194, two and a half times more than those aged 13-34.
The most commonly scammed tickets are for concerts and music festivals, which account for nearly half of all claims.
This is followed by football matches and plane tickets.
However, sports fans often spend more than twice as much as those buying tickets for comedy performances, concerts and festivals, TSB reports. Victims lose an average of £230 in fines that later turn out to be fraudulent.
Football fans spent £170, comedy concertgoers £102, concertgoers £87 and festivalgoers £98.
Rugby fans have lost an average of £449 out of pocket, according to TSB figures.
Paul Davis, TSB’s director of fraud prevention, says: “Concert-goers and sports fans are often left deflated and broke after being duped by scammers on social media platforms selling tickets that simply don’t exist.” .
“Whenever possible, it’s always better to turn to trusted official ticketing sites rather than relying on a social media profile, no matter how much you want to attend an event.”
Money Mail’s Stop the Social Media Scammers campaign has four key demands:
- Social media companies being forced to shell out money to reimburse victims of scams originating from their platforms.
- Tighter identity checks. Fraudsters must be stopped from using social media to commit crimes.
- Make secure payments. Anyone buying or selling on social media platforms or marketplaces should be offered a secure payment system that protects them if something goes wrong.
- Penalties should be imposed for failing to take strong action. Businesses must post fraud and scam data on their platforms. If they don’t comply with the strict new rules, they should face fines.
Five red flags for shoppers to beware
1. The seller requests a bank transfer.
Whenever possible, pay for tickets with a credit or debit card. If you do and the notes are counterfeit, your bank will usually help you get your money back.
2. If ticket resale is illegal
Some football match tickets cannot be resold unless the organizer has authorized it. Consult with the corresponding club.
3. Tickets are not transferable.
Exchange websites will resell tickets originally purchased by individuals. Make sure the ticket you want can be transferred to you.
4. You do not have a unique reference number
If you don’t receive one, it may be a sign of a scam; you should always receive this number for each ticket purchased.
5. The ticket is cheap.
If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.