Football fans should beware of match ticket scams

Football tickets aren’t coming home: fans have warned of scams sparked by bogus offers for big clubs at the end of last season

  • Reported playing card fraud increased by two-thirds in the second half of last season
  • Victims lose an average of £410, although it can be for a few thousands
  • Fans of big clubs and national teams are the most likely to be targeted
  • Facebook and Twitter are the most common hunting grounds for scammers

Football fans looking forward to the new Premier League season starting tonight should beware of match ticket scams, new data shows.

According to analysis by Lloyds Bank, these scams increased by more than two-thirds in the second half of last season, with victims losing an average of £410 and in some cases thousands of pounds.

It comes just days after a crowd of 87,192 at Wembley Stadium watched the Lionesses win the European Championship by beating Germany 2-1 and Arsenal kicked off their Premier League season against Crystal Palace tonight.

Lloyds warns that fans of big clubs and national teams are the most likely to be targeted as criminals take advantage of their desperation to attend games, knowing most big games will sell out across the country.

Reported cases of football ticket fraud increased by more than two-thirds in the second half of last season, with victims losing an average of £410

Reported cases of football ticket fraud increased by more than two-thirds in the second half of last season, with victims losing an average of £410

Liz Ziegler, Head of Retail Fraud and Financial Crime at Lloyds Bank, said: “Fraudsters are always looking for new ways to trick victims of their hard-earned cash and with the end of pandemic restrictions, they wasted no time in targeting football fans who flocked back to the stadiums.

“It’s easy to get overwhelmed by our emotions when we’re following our favorite team.

“But while that passion makes for a great atmosphere on pitches across the country, it’s important not to get carried away by the excitement when it comes to buying tickets to a game.

“The vast majority of these scams start on social media, where it’s all too easy for scammers to use fake profiles and promote items that simply don’t exist.

“These criminals are ready to go as soon as they get their hands on your money.”

This is how the scam works

Purchase fraud occurs when someone is tricked into sending money via bank transfer to purchase goods or services, often advertised online or through social media, that do not exist.

Twitter and Facebook are often the starting points for the vast majority of these scams, according to Lloyds.

When tickets are scarce, scammers know they can capitalize on desperate fans who are willing to pay a lot more.

Not surprisingly, fans of the so-called “Big Six” clubs in England (Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea) and the national team – in other words, where demand for tickets is strongest – strongest represented are likely to fall victim.

Once the money is paid, the scammer disappears and the victim gets nothing in return.

This is how you stay on the safe side when buying football tickets

What many people don’t realize is that bank transfers were not designed as a means of payment for goods and services and offer little protection if something goes wrong.

It’s the electronic equivalent of simply handing your cash to someone on the street.

However, shoppers who pay by credit card benefit from the well-established Section 75 rules that have protected customers for decades.

Debit card payments and purchases are not covered by Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.

However, it is possible to claim a refund under a voluntary system called chargeback.

The English Premier League makes it clear that those looking to buy tickets for matches should buy them direct from clubs. Clubs should also provide details of all authorized ticketing partners on their official website.

It’s also important to remember that scammers will target any major event where demand for tickets is likely to exceed supply.

Low prices and seemingly great deals are often used to cover up scams. But remember, when demand is high or a game is sold out, scammers can charge more to fool desperate buyers.

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