Glastonbury 2023 sold out in just over an hour on Sunday, November 6, and with England and Wales playing in the World Cup this month, punters may look for unofficial deals. Our advice is simply, don’t!
Tickets for next year’s Glastonbury Festival sold out within an hour yesterday (November 6), leaving thousands of hopefuls disappointed to have missed out on one of the World’s biggest and most famous musical events.
Meanwhile this month, England and Wales will compete at the World Cup in Qatar - the first ever winter World Cup and the first to be hosted by an Arab nation. It’s many a football fans’ dream to attend a World Cup Finals tournament, but it isn’t cheap.
Many music and football fans may not have even considered buying tickets via the official sources - SeeTickets in Glastonbury’s case, FIFA.com for the World Cup - as the cost-of-living crisis continues to grip the nation and fans simply cannot afford the inflated prices.
So along with those disappointed music fans who attempted to get Glasto tickets the official way - which would have set them back almost £400 - those unable to afford such a price will now join the fans who patiently queued online to get into the festival unofficially.
In the case of the World Cup, it’s not so much match ticket prices that are putting fans off - you can watch a group game for as little as £11 if you’re willing to accept the category 4 option. It’s the logistical and accommodation costs that will have fans searching for cheaper third-party or unofficial ticket, flight and hotel packages.
But it’s worth reading into a few stats before you go unofficial. Ticket fraudsters duped victims out of almost £4 million in the last year, as music and entertainment lovers bought tickets for festivals and events online as the coronavirus restrictions eased.
Data from Action Fraud, the national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime, reveals that 4,982 people fell victim to ticket fraud in the 2021/22 financial year, and it’s not predicted that the picture will look any prettier for 2022/23.
Action Fraud receive hundreds of reports of ticket fraud every month - the highest number was recorded in September last year, with a whopping 623 reports!
Fraudsters are aware of the high demand for tickets, and will have planned for Glastonbury selling out, as it does every year. They prey on the desperation of those fans who missed out as they now seek alternative routes into the festival.
If it’s too good to be true…
Whilst we have focused on Glastonbury and the World Cup, ticket fraud doesn’t stop there.
If you receive an email or a link offering tickets to major events that have sold out or that are likely to attract huge interest - sometimes at vastly discounted prices - be aware.
As we always say: if it looks too good to be true, it probably is, a sentiment echoed by Detective Chief Inspector Craig Mellish, from the City of London Police.
DCI Mellish states:
“Reports of ticket fraud have risen further again this year. As many festivals and events sell out, don’t be deceived by offers on secondary ticketing websites or social media, as this is often where criminals will advertise fake tickets to popular and sold-out events. Remember: if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
During the 2021/22 financial year, victims reported losing £3.8 million to ticket fraud - an average loss of over £750 per victim.
The highest percentage of reports (27 per cent) came from 20-to-29-year-olds and almost half (48 per cent) of victims were aged 20 to 49 years old.
One victim lost £900 after they found someone on Twitter selling a ticket to the Euro 2020 final. The victim contacted the suspect who showed proof of the ticket. The victim transferred the money to the suspect and once the suspect had received the payment, they deleted their account.
Another victim lost over £150 after they saw an advert for tickets to a concert. The victim contacted the suspect who said two tickets were available and then transferred the money for the ticket. Once the suspect had received the payment, they blocked the victim.
One way to ensure your ticket is genuine is to look for the STAR insignia. Jonathan Brown, Chief Executive of Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (STAR), said:
“Buying from a STAR member means you are buying from an authorised ticket supplier signed up to our strict code of practice. While we hope you never have to use it, this also gets you access to our approved Alternative Dispute Resolution service."
Spot the signs of ticket fraud and protect yourself
Only buy tickets from the venue’s box office, official promoter or agent, or a well-known and reputable ticket site.
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.
Be wary of unsolicited emails, texts or adverts offering unbelievably good deals on tickets. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Is the vendor a member of STAR? If they are, the company has signed up to their strict governing standards. STAR also offers an approved Alternative Dispute Resolution service to help customers with outstanding complaints. For more information visit star.org.uk/buy_safe. They have also produced a STAR Ticket Buying Guide
Action Fraud also advises that the public follow the advice of the Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign to keep themselves safe from fraud.
Stop: taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe.
Challenge: could it be fake? It’s okay to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
Protect: if you think you’ve been a victim of fraud, contact your bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud online at actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.
Report all Fraud and Cybercrime to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or online. Forward suspicious emails to firstname.lastname@example.org. Report SMS scams by forwarding the original message to 7726 (spells SPAM on the keypad).