• International Institute of Live Events

​Should event promoters do more to help with ticket scammers?

Updated: Dec 28, 2021

Should event promoters do more to help with ticket scammers?

The event industry has boomed since the easing of restrictions which allowed festivals, sporting events and venues to reopen.


Events have been selling out faster than ever. Micheal Rapino, CEO of Live Nation, confirmed that Reading & Leeds had sold 100,000 tickets in 72 hours, and that Creamfields had sold its entire 70,000 capacity out in just 48 hours.


With the demand for events higher than ever and consumers demand so high this has caused a rise in ticket scamming. In February 2021, Action Fraud received 216 reports of ticket fraud. This is a 62% increase on the previous month and the highest number of reports received since March 2020 when lockdown restrictions were first implemented. Victims reported losing £272,300 in February 2021 – an average loss of just over £1,260 per victim.


If you have tried to purchase tickets recently you may have noticed how fast events are selling out and if you have tried to purchase second hand tickets you may have seen how many scammers there are.

We recently tried to purchase tickets for an event at the Warehouse Project for one of their events this year and this is what inspired this blog.


So If you are a consumer, how can you protect yourself from ticket fraud?

The safest way to purchase tickets for an event is through authorised ticketing sites. If you are planning to purchase tickets for any major events it is likely that you can purchase tickets from Ticketmaster.

Ticketmaster is one of the safest ways to purchase tickets for any event. They are one of the biggest ticketing distributors in the world. Another place to purchase tickets safely is through the venues website. Most venues sell tickets for their events through their websites or from the box office. Buying tickets from here you know the tickets are real and authorised.

Authorised resellers website such as;

www.gigsandtour.com

www.dice.fm

www.skiddle.com

www.seetickets.com

How do I safely purchase second hand tickets?

There are not many places to purchase second hand tickets safely. We advise you to always purchase tickets through the website as mentioned above. If all the tickets are sold out you may have to buy second hand tickets. There are some good websites which allow users to sell their purchased tickets for face value or higher.

Our favourite place to purchase second hand tickets: Twickets is the largest fan-to-fan secure ticket trading platform, enabling fans to buy and sell spare tickets securely and at face value (plus fees). They list thousands of spare tickets every month for gigs, festivals, sports, comedy, theatre & the arts. You can trade tickets securely through Twickets, with payment and delivery agreed upfront. To prevent touts/scalpers from operating on our site, our dedicated moderation team checks through every ticket and monitors any suspicious user activity.


A few other good websites to purchase tickets www.ticketswap.uk Ticketmaster also allows fans to resell the tickets.

We wouldn’t really recommend buying tickets from any other sites as we have only had experiences with the companies above.

If worse comes to worse should I purchase tickets from someone on social media and how can I spot a ticket scammer?


When we tried to purchase tickets for Warehouse Project all the tickets were sold out so we had no choice but to look online. Doing this made it apparent how many ticket scammers there are online and how unsafe it is.

Here are some examples, we went onto Facebook and to the Warehouse Projects events page. Here you can see the event details but also the discussions section which allows users to post questions and there are usually people looking for or selling tickets.


There were many posts by users selling tickets which look legit. They all had profile pictures that were dated for the past couple years, and at first glance you would think they were real. However one of the biggest red flags after clicking through a few profiles was that all the scammers had their job descriptions as self employed. They also all had hobbies listed but no other information on their profiles. Most of them did have pictures of a family with young children to trick users into trusting them.


We decided to message one of these scammers and this is where it becomes apparent that they are scammers. See the screenshots below.






Firstly it is very unlikely that the person selling tickets would ever ask what your budget is to buy tickets. This is a technique that scammers use to see how much money you are willing to hand over. We said £70 which is a pretty ridiculous offer as I knew the tickets would have cost around £50 each from ticketmaster. The tickets were also sold out so the value would have been deemed higher. The scammer then agrees and we ask to see the tickets which they send a generic screenshot of an email with 4 tickets as a PDF. However most e-tickets that are sold only get released a few days before the event so we knew this was just a generic email and confirmed it was a scam.We then send another message saying we are only able now to give £30 which they reply “sounds good’ please do not fall for this trap. The event page was full of accounts like this. This does not mean there are no legit ticket sellers on social media. It is very risky, but doing your diligence on the event and seller’s profiles to ensure that they are legit, is a must.


Should promoters and venues do more to help with ticket scammers?

Rules were put in place to protect fans from ticket touting. However, we think promoters can do more on social media to eliminate scammers. If we take Facebook as an example and the Warehouse Project as a promoter / venue. The event page was set up by Warehouse Project who have control to moderate posts in the discussion section of the event page.


If the marketing team just deleted the scammers post and banned them from the page this would make a significant difference. We do not have numbers on how many people have been scammed on Facebook; one is too many. This is just using one example from the thousands of events that are being held every year. Facebook should also be doing more to delete fake accounts. It is hard to fathom how many fake accounts there are on Facebook and how many people are getting scammed for trying to purchase tickets around the world.


This blog is not endorsed or affiliated with any of the ticketing sites mentioned in this blog. individuals should do their own research to determine the validity and credibility before purchasing a ticket from an online seller.

What are your thoughts, do you have any tips for purchasing tickets online? Do you think event promoters and venues can do more to stop scammers online?


Let us know in the comments or social media!


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References

https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/a-z-of-fraud/tic...

https://www.lovemoney.com/guides/49891/ticket-frau...

https://www.daslaw.co.uk/blog/dealing-with-ticket-...

https://djmag.com/news/uk-summer-festivals-sell-ou...

https://www.musicbusinessworldwide.com/live-nation...

https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/alert/action-fra...

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