Football fans are being warned to be aware of ticket scams ahead of the start of the new season.
Lloyds Bank has said reported cases of scams relating to football increased by more than two-thirds (68%) between January and June this year, compared to July to December 2021, with vitcims losing out on an average of £410.
The figures were based on an analysis of purchase scams reported by Lloyds Banking Group customers.
Fraudsters have been quick to exploit people’s desire to attend live events following the easing of Covid restrictions, Lloyds said, adding that it has seen an increase in purchase scams targeting tickets for concerts as well as sporting events.
Lloyds said that scams targeting tickets for concerts had risen by 72% in 2022, while top-level football in particular has been a hunting ground for criminals.
What are purchase scams?
Purchase scams happen when people are tricked into transferring money from their bank account to fraudsters advertising online.
Once the money has been paid, the scammer disappears and the victim receives nothing.Lloyds has said it is important to remember that fraudsters will target any major event where demand for tickets is likely to exceed supply.
Bank transfers were not originally designed as a way of paying for items such as football tickets, so it can be difficult to get your money back.
Paying via a debit or credit cards can provide some protection, as purchases are protected by Section 75 and Chargeback rules. This is where your credit card provider is jointly and severally responsible for any breach of contract and is useful for transactions under £100.
Where should tickets be bought from?
Liz Ziegler, retail fraud and financial crime director, Lloyds Bank, said: “It’s easy to let our emotions get the better of us when following our favourite team.
“But while that passion makes for a great atmosphere on grounds across the country when it comes to buying tickets for a match, it’s important not to get carried away in the excitement.
“The vast majority of these scams start on social media, where it’s all too easy for fraudsters to use fake profiles and advertise items that simply don’t exist. These criminals are ready to disappear as soon as they have their hands on your money.
“Buying directly from the clubs or their official ticket partners is the only way to guarantee you’re paying for a real ticket.”
Lloyds said people should use their debit or credit card when buying online as this helps offer protection if something goes wrong.
Premier League tips for buying tickets safely can be found online.