Police are issuing advice to protect residents in Derbyshire from becoming a victim of ticketing fraud after reports reveal that the fraud cost victims over £3.7m last year alone.
Ticket fraud can relate to flights as well as music, sporting or religious events. The crime can vary but typically, tickets are being sold to victims which either don’t exist or materialise.
Officers are urging Derbyshire sports fans not to purchase tickets from non-official sources ahead of the weekend’s football match, which sees Derby County play QPR at Wembley Stadium.
Det Insp Rob King, head of Derbyshire police’s economic crime unit, said: “Millions of pounds were lost last year after fraudsters conned people into buying tickets to watch their favourite sporting events or attend popular festivals, which simply did not materialise.
“These figures may appear worrying but thankfully there are simple steps that we can all take to safely purchase tickets online and enjoy our events without becoming a victim of ticketing fraud.
“I would urge the public to remain vigilant and to only buy tickets from a venue’s box office, promoter, official agent or reputable ticket exchange website, especially in the run up to the summer months and festival seasons.
“Just remember, if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is. Purchasing a ticket from an unofficial seller, either face-to-face or online, is just not worth the risk.”
Tony Neate, chief executive of getsafeonline.org added: “Criminals have a captured market of fans that will do anything to get a ticket, which makes festivals and concerts a prime target for fraud.
“It’s incredibly frustrating for many festival goers, especially if they’ve waited months for the event. Get Safe Online is concerned to see such a high proportion of these figures relating to online fraud.”
The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) has launched a focus week on ticketing fraud. This will run from Thursday, May 15th to Thursday, May 22nd.
Derbyshire detectives are raising awareness of the scam as part of the week-long Stamp out Fraud drive to protect residents from falling victim to the crime, which runs from Monday, May 19 to Saturday, May 24.
If you think that you may have been a victim of ticket fraud report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or visit http://www.actionfraud.police.uk.
For more information about protecting yourself online visit www.derbyshire.police.uk/stampoutfraud, or visit the Get Safe Online website at www.getsafeonline.org.