Things You Need To Know About Football Ticket Fraud

Football is a game loved by millions and played for hundreds of years, but there’s a growing problem facing fans off the pitch: fake game tickets sold online. It’s common practice to buy tickets online – whether for concerts, comedy shows, or football matches. Unfortunately, ticket scams have also become increasingly common. Today, we’re taking a closer look at how ticket fraud is becoming a real issue for football lovers, and what can be done to tackle it.

How Ticket Fraud Works

Ticket fraud can be a devastating experience for the victims, robbing them of their money or credit card details. Not taking into account the cost of the fake tickets as well as the transport costs, the emotional impact can take a huge toll on the victims.

What is a Football Ticket Scam?

Imagine – you’re excited about an upcoming match, and you go online to buy a pair of tickets. The problem is that between legitimate sellers and fan-to-fan hand-offs, there are disingenuous sellers in the mix. Their game plan is to make easy money by fooling fans into buying tickets that are either completely fake, expired, or already used.

How Are Fake Tickets Made?

First, the fake ticket is created – using tools and specialist software, scammers create realistic-looking counterfeit tickets. The tickets often look legitimate, complete with barcodes that might even fool a regular scanner at times. These tickets are purposely crafted to look like the real thing.

How Are Fake Tickets Sold?

After making the fake tickets, scammers start spreading the word. They put them up all over social media – on social media marketplaces, on ticket reselling websites, and so on.

Scammers will often use emotional tactics and create an excuse explaining their inability to attend the match. They may explain that they had an accident, or have other business to attend to.  They may also use online stores and auction sites to sell them. Sometimes, they even make their own websites that look official. If you reach out, they’ll engage in conversation, appearing friendly and emphasising the urgency – they may try to convince you that another buyer is about to purchase the tickets.

Their goal is to push you to make a rash decision, so as not to allow you enough time to think critically.

When Does The Scam Happen?

Then comes the moment of truth: the exchange. They won’t meet you in person; rather, they ask for payment upfront, often through methods that carry considerable risk, like bank transfers or prepaid cards. In certain scenarios, they might mail you tickets that, unfortunately, won’t get you past the gate. You’ll arrive at the stadium and get your ticket scanned, only to be turned away.

Often, legitimate tickets are sold – except they’ve been sold to multiple people, and someone has already used them, rendering the others useless. Alternatively, some scammers won’t even bother with this step, and will simply disappear after receiving payment. Without any information or way to contact them, you’re left ticketless and moneyless.

How to Avoid Fake Ticket Scams

Ensuring the authenticity of football tickets when purchasing them online requires vigilance and a little know-how.

Use Official Ticket Sources

The first step in avoiding counterfeit tickets is to use official and authorised ticket sources.  Start by visiting the venue’s box office where you’ll often find direct links to purchase tickets. These sites are the safest option as they’re directly affiliated with the event organisers.  Major ticketing platforms that are recognised partners of sports events or teams are also trustworthy. Always stay away from secondary markets unless they offer buyer protection.

If you must use a non-official source, meet the seller in person in a public place if possible, and ask them to provide proof of purchase and verify the ticket’s authenticity through any official verification service if one is available.

Bonus tip: pay close attention to website URLs. Some scam websites may closely resemble authorised ticket seller domains.

Read Seller Reviews

Before making a purchase, check for the seller’s reviews and ratings provided by previous buyers and ensure the secondary platform verifies the authenticity of its tickets. It’s equally important to be cautious of deals that seem too good to be true, especially with high-demand events. Counterfeiters prey on the excitement and eagerness of fans by offering tickets at significantly reduced prices. Always compare the price of the ticket you’re looking to buy with the prices listed on the official site. If it seems too good to be true – it probably is. Additionally, be wary of buying tickets through social media or online auctions, as these can be risky.

Protect Your Information

Don’t forget to protect your personal information to further reduce the risk of falling victim to ticket (or even identity) fraud by using tools like VPNs. A VPN works to encrypt your internet connection, making it more difficult for scammers or hackers to gain access to your online activity and steal sensitive information, such as your debit card details. The best VPN provider will mask your IP address and location, allowing you to browse for tickets anonymously.

Use Safe Payment Methods

Scammers may use illegitimate or unsafe payment providers on their websites, or ask you to send money through unsafe payment methods. Avoid using unsafe methods like bank transfers or cash payments – these transactions are harder to track and verify in case of fraud. Make sure to use a reliable VPN service to protect your sensitive information while browsing.

Besides that, to stay safe while purchasing tickets online, stick to verified, safe payment services or credit cards, which offer fraud protection. This provides an extra layer of protection from fraud and scams. By using safe payment methods, you avoid having to provide card details directly to the seller, so that your sensitive information remains safe and private. Safe payment methods can provide buyer protection, helping you sort out any potential issues that may arise, such as failure to deliver the goods.

Before finalising the purchase, make sure to check that the website’s URL begins with “https” and look for a padlock symbol. This indicates that the site is secure.  Always keep a record of your purchase, including confirmation emails and transaction IDs.

Shop Safely

Being aware of existing scams is one of the most important ways you can protect yourself from football ticket fraud. By being aware and following the simple security measures above, you can purchase tickets online more confidently, and avoid becoming a victim of a fraudulent ticket scheme. Buy your tickets securely and enjoy the match.