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Unofficial Euro 2016 ticket sites pose risk to fans

Football fans could be left thousands of pounds out of pocket

With just five days to go until the start of the UEFA Euro 2016, Which? has found a number of unofficial websites claiming to sell Euro 2016 tickets.

The tickets are listed in breach of ticket restrictions and consumer law, leaving fans at risk of being turned away from the ground.

UEFA’s terms and conditions are very clear that tickets can’t be resold except through their official resale site and that consumers must bring photo ID to be able to enter the stadium.

Anyone who buys tickets sold in someone else’s name is running a substantial risk of parting with significant sums of money only to be refused entry at the gate.

Whether you’re buying tickets to the football, a trip to the theatre or a weekend at a festival, you can use our guide on how to tell if a ticket seller is official or not.

Tickets sold in breach of UEFA rules

Our investigation found that some tickets on unofficial secondary sites are selling for up to £5,000, and it’s expected that these prices will go up as it gets closer to the tournament finale.

As part of our investigation, we contacted three sites:

  • gettickets.com
  • atstickets.com 
  • europeanchampionshipstickets.com

We asked all three why they are selling tickets in breach of UEFA’s rules and why they’re not warning consumers of the risks involved in buying tickets. We received no reply from any of them.

Those with tickets not purchased through UEFA may be refused entry as the original ticket purchaser must show valid identity that matches up with the name on the ticket when entering the stadiums.

We also found that tickets are being sold on these sites and others in breach of the Consumer Rights Act 2015, by not communicating the seat location, original face value of the ticket or the ticket restrictions.

An UEFA spokesperson told us: ‘UEFA stresses that no tickets for individual football fans are being distributed via agencies or brokers, and encourages fans not to be lured into deals with touts, who not only demand exorbitant prices but are often not even in possession of the tickets they purport to have for sale.’

Risks of scam sites

Which? is also warning consumers about the different risks of scam sites, which may be set up with the sole aim of defrauding sports fans looking for Euro 2016 tickets. Football fans searching for Euro 2016 tickets should only buy them through official channels.

Alex Neill, Which? director of policy and campaigns, said: ‘If you haven’t bought your ticket directly from an official source, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to get into the game and you could be left thousands of pounds out of pocket.

‘More must be done both in the UK and across the borders to stop these sites breaking the rules and scamming members of the public.’

If you’ve bought a ticket that hasn’t turned up, or you suspect to be fake, contact your credit card provider immediately as you may be able to get your money back.

We shared our concerns about these websites with Trading Standards, Action Fraud and City of London Police, as well as other consumer organisations within Europe.

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