Lloyds Bank (LLOY.L) has warned of a surge in scammers selling fake football tickets, as a new season of the premier league is about to kick off.
The bank said that victims lost £410 on average due to scammers, though for some the amount reached into the thousands.
The report discovered there was a 68% increase in cases of fraudulent ticket selling since the start of this year when compared to the period from July to December 2021.
Lloyds said scammers were exploiting the rush to attend live events after the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns.
Sporting events are not the only sector targeted by scammers, as fake ticket sales for live gigs also rose by 72% this year.
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Liz Ziegler, retail fraud & financial crime director, Lloyds Bank, said: “Fraudsters are always on the lookout for new ways to trick victims out of their hard-earned cash, and with pandemic restrictions coming to an end, they wasted no time in targeting football fans as they flocked back to stadiums."
The bank said that scammers were ready and willing to exploit the desperation of people to watch their favourite teams play live and that one of the most common ways to be deceived was to purchase fraudulent tickets from unofficial websites.
When demand exceeds supply for a sporting event and fans fear they will not be able to purchase a ticket, they may be tempted to visit a fraudulent online vendor.
Many people have fallen victim to scammers by sending money from their bank account to fraudsters online and once the money has been transferred, the scammer disappears and the victim receives nothing.
Ziegler added: “It’s easy to let our emotions get the better of us when following our favourite team.
"But while that passion makes for a great atmosphere in grounds across the country when it comes to buying tickets for a match, it’s important not to get carried away in the excitement.
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“The vast majority of these scams start on social media, where it’s all too easy for fraudsters to use fake profiles and advertise items that simply don’t exist. These criminals are ready to disappear as soon as they have their hands on your money."
Lloyds provided a list of ways to ensure football fans do not fall victim to ticket scams.
Top tips when buying football tickets:
1. Always use your debit or credit card when you buy online. This helps to protect your money should something go wrong.
2. Fraudsters use social media to advertise tickets that don’t exist. They can even send offers straight to your inbox. If you’re looking for a ticket, always search for it yourself from a trusted source.
3. Low prices and seemingly great deals are often used to disguise scams. But remember, if demand is high or a game is sold out, fraudsters can charge more to trick desperate buyers.
4. Only buy direct from the club or their official partners. Follow the Premier League’s guide on how to purchase tickets safely: https://www.premierleague.com/tickets
"When buying directly from the clubs or their official ticket partners is the only way to guarantee you’re paying for a real ticket, and always pay by debit or credit card for the greatest protection," Ziegler said.