Football, festivals, Taylor Swift: avoid ticket fraud in summer 2024

6 min read
June 26, 2024

British summer is kicking off with a whole host of huge events: from the 17th UEFA European Championship and Glastonbury Festival to Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour. 

But sports and music fans could be in for a ‘cruel summer’: alongside these major summer events, ticket scams are on the rise. 

Here we cover some of the biggest ticket purchase scams of summer 2024 – and give some guidance on staying safe.

Scam explosion

When tickets for big events are in high demand, scammers can easily cash in on excited fans who are desperate to attend. 

And when tickets are especially scarce because events are sold out, people are willing to pay much more for them – meaning that fraudsters are able to make serious money from just one person’s rash decision. 

According to Action Fraud, around £6.7million was stolen through ticket scams last year – with more than 8,700 people losing an average of £772 each. Their report shows that 29% of all ticket scams reported were travel tickets, 18% were sporting events and 34% were concert ticket scams. 

People aged 24-34 were most likely to be targeted. Nationwide report that over 1 in 3 young people have been affected by fake ticket scams or know someone who has been conned.

Football, the Olympics and other sporting events

Ahead of the Euros, where both England and Scotland will play, consumer experts and banks have been warning UK consumers to be extra cautious when purchasing tickets to see their team play. 

Based on customer reports of fraud, several banks have found that the number of people tricked into purchasing fake football tickets was more than double than last year. Santander reported an increase of scams by 82% with more than £200k at risk of being stolen. 

This is only going to get worse with the Euros kicking off this summer. 

The Olympics also has consumer experts worried – with ticket and travel scams as well as fake merchandise. There are also phishing scams which try to steal peoples data: fans have been warned to ignore any emails or messages about the Olympics they did not initiate. 

Festivals, gigs and Taylor Swift

According to Action Fraud, every third person caught in a ticket scam was specifically targeted by concert ticket fraud. With a whole load of big summer tours and some fantastic festival line-ups, UK consumers are in a frenzy to spend hundreds of pounds on concert tickets. 

Among the major artists most commonly targeted by concert tickets scams last summer were Coldplay, Harry Styles, and Beyonce. However, there is one group of fans who are particularly vulnerable: Swifties. 

Fans of Taylor Swift are being targeted by a flood of concert ticket scams on social media. Lloyds Bank even issued a special statement for their customers who were looking to attend her Eras Tours.

Since July last year, when tickets first went on sale, more than 600 customers reported being scammed. As well as the number of people targeted, the cost of these scams is also significantly more than for any other music artist. While across all concert ticket scams victims were losing £133 on average, for Swifties it was £332 – and in some cases more than £1,000.

As well as these big concerts, there are hundreds of festivals that offer scammers another chance to swindle music fans. While some festivals like Glastonbury have security measures – such as an ID photograph on every ticket – to ensure that tickets cannot be passed on or resold for profit, this is not the case for most.   

How does ticket fraud work?

Ticket scams almost always involve fake adverts or listings on social media – Facebook Marketplace is the most common. There are often two waves of fraud; the first when tickets go on sale and the second around the time an event takes place.

Scammers will create a post offering tickets that don;t exist to events which have already sold out. The prices may be even more inflated than the original price of the ticket – as they are scarce.

The scammers may well send any prospective buyer pictures of real tickets to convince them that they are genuine – who will then be asked to pay upfront via bank transfer. 

Once the victim has been tricked into sending money via bank transfer the scammer disappears – and they are left without tickets and out of pocket.

Our 5 top tips for ticket-buying 

When desperate to see your favourite team or Taylor Swift, people can make rash decisions. But there are some key things to bear in mind to keep yourself safe. 

1. Try to buy from trusted sources

Using well-known, official ticket selling (or reselling) platforms is the surest way to keep yourself safe. Websites like Ticketmaster, Twickets and TicketSwap list resale tickets from people no longer able to attend. Ticket apps like Dice allow fans to join a waiting list for sold-out gigs.

2. Stay away from social media

You should take extra precautions when buying tickets from third-party sellers and try to stay away from social media as much as possible – as this is where most scammers operate. Be especially wary of Facebook Marketplace – 90% of reported concert ticket scams started on Facebook. 

3. Never buy a ticket with a bank transfer

Many consumers aren’t aware that bank transfers were not designed as a way of paying for things online and offer little protection if you are victimised by scammers. Always use your debit or credit card when you buy tickets online. If you pay for tickets with a credit or debit card you will be protected by the Section 75 or Chargeback rules should something go wrong. PayPal is another option that’s usually safer than paying by bank transfer.

4. If it’s too good to be true it probably is! 

We need to get better at exercising caution. Low prices and seemingly great deals are often used to disguise scams and make consumers forget to be cautious in their excitement. If you see tickets for sale at amazingly low prices or for events that have long been sold-out this should ring alarm bells – rather than make you rush to purchase them. Even if you are desperate to go to the event, just take a deep breath and ask yourself if the deal seems realistic.

5. Stay vigilant and be suspicious! 

It’s a sad fact of life today that there are so many scammers trying to target us at any time – who often take advantage of our enthusiasm for the things we love. We must learn to look out for ourselves and others by exercising a lot of caution.

Even if a seller can provide images of tickets or seems apprehensive about sending the ticket this could still be a tactic to gain your trust. Some profile checks could help you figure out if the seller is actually a real person. A reverse image search on any photos of tickets can show you if they have been ‘scraped’ from elsewhere. (And make sure you don’t post an image of your own ticket online!)


If you have any thoughts on this topic, or any other consumer issues you would like us to cover, feel free to get in touch with us at .

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