FA Cup final: How to spot and avoid ticket scams

Lloyds Bank has seen a surge in reports of ticket scams over the past year  ((Alamy/PA))
Lloyds Bank has seen a surge in reports of ticket scams over the past year ((Alamy/PA))

Major sporting events generate tourism and excitement for fans, but they also tend to attract online fraud by scam artists.

Season ticket holders and club staff get first dibs on tickets for the June 3 FA Cup Final, which is currently only available through the official websites of the two Manchester clubs.

According to UK digital payment solutions provider Takepayments, this creates a great possibility for customers to be misled into buying fake tickets from unreliable sellers online since non-season ticket holders may turn to third-party resale websites instead.

The provider has found it’s not uncommon for popular sporting events to be the target of ticket fraud scams. Lloyds Bank reported victims losing an average of £410 to ticket scammers in the second half of last season, with football ticket scams increasing by 68 per cent.

Additionally, Newcastle supporters were cautioned by Northumbria Police not to purchase fake tickets for the Carabao Cup in February 2023.

With this in mind, the provider has issued ways to avoid getting scammed.

Use Secure eCommerce websites

Takepayments advises using 3D secure authentication websites backed by big-name card issuers like Mastercard and American Express to help against credit fraud.

If a website implements 3D Secure security features, look for the Visa Secure, MasterCard SecureCode, or American Express SafeKey emblem on the page.

After you have entered your card details and before your payment is processed you will be directed to the 3D Secure website of the issuer of your card. You will then either be prompted to provide your banking password or be sent an entry-authentication code.

Similarly aim to browse on SCA-compliant websites. SCA short for Strong Customer Authentication is a requirement set by the Payment Services Directive (PSD2) that is applied to all “customer-initiated” online card payments as well as contactless offline payments made in the European Economic Area and the United Kingdom.

If you’re not prompted to confirm your purchase via your bank, double-check the source you’re making the purchase from.

Avoid bank or wire transfer or payment through a P2P app

Takepayments says “Bank and wire transfers and peer-to-peer apps are designed for sending money to people that you know, like family and friends. They are not intended to be used for eCommerce transactions and do not have protection in place to recover lost funds from fraud.”

Avoid giving sensitive information

Secure online payment gateways never request online banking login credentials or four-digit card PINs according to Takepayments.

In addition to Takepayments advice, there are other things you should look out for such as spelling and grammar mistakes, steering clear of deals that seem too good to be true, and looking for a privacy statement.