Football fans travelling to the World Cup this summer have been warned by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to watch out for scam websites selling fake tickets.
According to the OFT, one in 12 people who buy tickets online is caught out every year by such websites, with an average loss of £80.
World Cup fans must be wary
The watchdog warned the predicted 25,000 England fans heading to South Africa for the World Cup to be on their guard, as if they are caught out by ticketing scams they could be left miles from home, out of pocket and with no way to get to the event.
Michele Shambrook from the OFT-managed consumer advice service Consumer Direct said: ‘Major events such as the World Cup and large music festivals are prime targets for ticket scammers. We encourage everyone buying tickets to events overseas to be especially vigilant and on the lookout for potential scams.’
How to spot ticket fraud
The advice comes as part of the OFT’s ‘Just Tick It’ campaign, urging people to follow a five-point checklist before buying any tickets online. Tips include: checking with the event to find out when tickets are being released for sale, when the tickets will be sent out, and to search the internet to find out what other users are saying about the website and what their experiences have been.
Buyers should then check the company’s full geographic address and make sure it has a working landline phone number, ensure that the face value of the tickets and seat location/festival area are clearly listed and make sure there is a refund policy in case something goes wrong.
Check the Which? website for guides to a host of common scams, such as phishing, skimming and mail fraud, together with a video guide full of expert tips on how to beat identity fraud.
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