Two of our region’s football teams are visiting Wembley Stadium this weekend in two separate EFL play-off finals, with Nottingham Forest's ticket allocation having sold out…so we don’t want fans to become a victim of ticket fraud.
For Nottingham Forest and Mansfield Town supporters, next weekend is huge. First up, on Saturday, Mansfield Town take on Port Vale in the League Two play-off final for a chance to be promoted to League One.
Then, on Sunday, Nottingham Forest are bidding to end a 23-year long Premier League exile when they take on Huddersfield Town in the Championship play-off final. Both games will be played at Wembley Stadium.
Tickets for Mansfield's game are on sale now from the club’s website and ticket office, but, at 1pm on Tuesday, May 24, Forest announced that their allocation had been sold - all 36,536 tickets. At the time of writing, due to Huddersfield Town selling tickets in each of the blocks they were allocated, meaning fans are scattered across their allocation without actually having sold out every block, it's unlikely that Forest will receive a further allocation.
With many fans missing out on the club’s first ever play-off final, there may be a temptation for them to seek alternative - and potentially risky - avenues. And for that reason we're urging fans who are tempted by tickets that appear too good to be true to remember: if something looks too good to be true, it very often is!
Where Mansfield Town are concerned, given the club's smaller fanbase, their allocation is unlikely to sell out. The League Two play-off final seldom does. But one issue they might face is that Stags supporters are limited to nine tickets per person, and anyone wishing to buy ten or more needs to visit the club to fill out a special form.
In both of the above scenarios, fans may be tempted to look for ticket sales on social media or unaffiliated ticket sites, or become seduced by email offers. But again, we urge caution.
This week, ahead of the games, social media will be awash with fans clambering to get tickets, with the #NFFC and #MTFC timelines on Twitter - a platform used heavily by supporters - potentially flooded with accounts claiming to have spares for sale from various avenues.
It’s likely that Facebook too will be busy with fake accounts or pages, seeking to capitalise on fans’ desperation to attend these showcase games.
What to look out for and advice on staying scam free...
Here are a few things to look out for when buying from an unofficial source. Please be vigilant and check the below before buying.
Check their previous tweets and/or profile. If they have lots of previous posts selling tickets but no posts relating to either club, the account could belong to a ticket scammer
Fans are being asked to print tickets at home and/or scan the email from the club on arrival at Wembley. Therefore, ask the seller to show the email confirmation from the club. If they can’t or won’t show it, do not part with any money.
Likewise, get as many details of the ticket as possible; block, seat number, category etc. If they have a ticket, these should be easy questions to answer. If they can’t or won’t answer, it should be looked upon as suspicious.
Avoid paying for tickets by bank transfer, especially if buying from someone unknown. Credit card or payment services such as PayPal give you a better chance of recovering your money if you become a victim of fraud.
Ask to meet and collect in person with cash payment if local. If they refuse this or become edgy, it could be a scam.
Away from social media, be wary of unsolicited emails, texts or adverts offering unbelievably good deals on tickets. These could be phishing emails.
Scams or fraud can be reported to Action Fraud online or by calling 0300 123 2040.
We wish both The Stags and Forest all the best!
Report all Fraud and Cybercrime to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or online. Forward suspicious emails to email@example.com. Report SMS scams by forwarding the original message to 7726 (spells SPAM on the keypad).