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Scam Alert

Trading Standards warns summer festival and sport goers about online ticket scams – 28/05/2010

With a packed summer events calendar ahead, the Trading Standards Service (TSS) is warning music and sports fans not to be conned by the increasing number of sophisticated fake ticketing sites that are appearing online.

Dozens of people in Northern Ireland have lost cash on dodgy online ticket websites in the past year.

With a packed summer events calendar ahead, the Trading Standards Service (TSS) is warning music and sports fans not to be conned by the increasing number of sophisticated fake ticketing sites that are appearing online.

Recent research from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) reveals that one in 12 ticket buyers have been caught out by scam ticket websites, with victims losing an average of £80 each.

Damien Doherty, TSS, said: “In the last year alone, dozens of Northern Ireland consumers lost money over scam sites, offering tickets for everything from Metallica’s recent gig at the Odyssey to Take That’s Croke Park concert.

“These sites offer cheap or scarce tickets to a popular event that is sold out or tickets that aren’t even on sale yet. Once consumers have paid, the tickets aren’t delivered, leaving fans disappointed and often hundreds of pounds out of pocket.

“Event-goers are often told that a customer representative will meet them at the venue on the day but nobody turns up. Attempts to contact the scam companies to complain are often thwarted when telephone calls go unanswered or divert to a different number, or the website has disappeared.”

The Trading Standards Service is backing the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) ‘Just Tick It’ campaign, which urges event-goers to take simple steps to help ensure they are not scammed when buying tickets online.

Check these top tips from Domain Scams to make sure you are buying the real deal:

  • How has the website got the tickets to sell? Check with the festival to find out when tickets are being released for sale and when the tickets will be sent out.
  • What are others saying about the website? Search the internet to find out what other people’s experiences have been.
  • How can you contact the company? Check that you know their full geographic address and check they have a working landline phone number.
  • Can they provide ticket details? Ensure that the face value of the tickets and the seat location/festival area are clearly listed.
  • Do they provide refunds? Make sure there is a refund policy in case something goes wrong.

Damien concluded: “The ‘Just Tick It’ campaign gives ticket buyers the valuable advice they need to help protect themselves from ticket scammers when buying online. Consumers can avoid falling victim in the first place by following the clear and simple advice on how to spot a scam.”

Anyone who feels that they have been conned by an online ticket scam can contact Domain Scams on 0300 123 6262 or for more information about the ‘Just Tick it’ campaign, scam ticket websites and how to protect yourself visit: http://www.domainscams.co.uk

Domain Scams is the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment’s consumer advice helpline.

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