Festival-goers: beware of online ticket fraudsters
Saturday 01 May 2010
It's not really possible to imagine what they felt, the thousands of people who unwittingly arrived at music festivals proffering fake tickets. They had bought them from plausible-looking websites, handed over card details, paid hundreds of pounds and then... nothing.
Every summer music fans are left without seeing headlining acts and with a greater distrust of their fellow humans, either because they fell for a dodgy website or responded to personal ads "selling" non-existent tickets.
For while the internet is a fantastic resource with the ability to inform, entertain and amuse – and instant access to the greatest works of science and culture in history – it is infested with crooks. Given how easy it is to set up a fake site with picture of festival-goers and a credit card link, or to "sell" ghost tickets online, the spring and summer are busy for fraudsters.
In the worst case two years ago, around 5,000 people turned up at the Leeds and Reading festivals with bogus tickets and were turned away. Since then the Metropolitan Police's e-crime unit has shut down more than 100 fake festival websites, but they keep popping up.
Sadly, Leeds and Reading festivals are this weekend warning fans who bought from the unauthorised outlets worldwideticketstore.com and justtheticket.uk.com not to turn up at their gates.
These frauds persist because they are so easy – and because demand for music showpieces exceeds supply.
Jonathan Brown, secretary of the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers, explains: "It's very easy to create a website that looks classy and reputable – but that doesn't mean it's law-abiding or will definitely supply you with what you think you are buying. People need to be vigilant."
The first tip is to visit genuine sites. Most major summer festivals this year have already sold out, including Glastonbury (glastonburyfestivals.co.uk) and the V Festival (vfestival.com). Day tickets are still available for Reading (readingfestival.com) and Leeds (leedsfestival.com) and day and weekend tickets for Latitude (latitudefestival.co.uk).
If you come across a company absent from the promoter or venue's adverts and official websites, check them out. Do they have proper details: a UK registered office, a UK registered company, a UK phone number, a VAT registration number?
Are they specific about what is being offered: the dates of the event, venue, seating or other arrangements such as camping, the ticket's face value and any booking fees?
Then be careful with payments. Look for a "security" padlock at the bottom of the screen when filling in card details and consider paying anything over £100 by credit rather than debit card, because this provides more financial protection.
Next, be wary of offers of tickets placed by individuals, such as Ashley Davis. At Reading Crown Court last month, Davis, aged 22, from Crowthorne, Berkshire, pleaded guilty to 27 counts of fraud relating to ticket sales. He had been placing adverts on websites such as eBay and Gumtree offering tickets for various concerts, including for the Reading Festival. But once he received buyer's money he did not post the tickets, because they did not exist.
"The case of Davis should act as a warning to other people tempted to buy tickets for events like the Reading Festival from unofficial sources on the internet," commented investigating officer, Detective Constable Sally Russell, from Thames Valley Police.
Thames Valley set out some guidelines for fans responding to individual ads. Meet the "seller" in person so you can see the tickets before handing over money (take someone with you for personal safety). Ensure you use secure methods of transaction such a PayPal. Never send or wire money to sellers. And never give out personal or banking information such as credit card numbers to individuals.
Banks and solar energy suppliers feel the heat
In a way, it's only doing its job, but, my, it does it well. Here are a few industries that felt the glare of unwelcome publicity this week thanks to the consumer group: solar thermal suppliers; new car showrooms; "eco" cleaning product firms; supermarkets; high street banks.
Villain: Alliance & Leicester
It's hard, I acknowledge. In a week that saw Goldman Sachs fight allegations about dodgy investments, Commerzbank was fined £595,000 for failing to fight market abuse and it emerged five high street banks had derisory complaint handling, how can I single out A&L? For charging £90 for going £30 overdrawn for three days...
Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown
Kirstie Allsopp has waded into the female fertility debate again
Gillian Anderson lays into gender disparity in Hollywood
- 1 Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
- 2 Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered...
- 3 'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 4 35,000 walrus gather on north-west Alaska beach 'for a rest'
- 5 Brad Pitt, on the moment he completely lost his temper with Clint Eastwood's son
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
Former Tory donor Arron Banks ups his Ukip donation to £1million following William Hague 'nobody' comment
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Real Staffing are currently lo...
NEGOTIABLE: Austen Lloyd: TRUST ACCOUNTANT - KENTIf you are a Chartered Accou...
£18000 - £20000 per annum + OTE £30000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 b...
Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: CITY - Law Costs Draftsperson - NICHE...
Day In a Page
Four exclusive apartments in a Grade II-listed former medical school with 2,275 sq ft of living space and 18ft ceilings
A five-bedroom terraced house on the popular Peterborough Estate, ideally located for both Eel Brook Common and South Park
A state-of-the-art farm-building conversion on the former Cliveden Estate, with 11,420sq ft of internal space, cinema and wine cellar
A three-bedroom, 15th-century cottage with original features in the picturesque village of Sissinghurst
A six-bedroom terraced house with large south-facing roof terrace, cinema room and wine cellar
A new seven-bedroom home built in Queen Anne-style with swimming pool and parkland views in Mortimer
A listed, four-bedroom farmhouse in the rural hamlet of Rushall with detached barn, four acres of gardens and paddocks
A first-floor flat with two bedrooms, a spacious reception room and communal grounds in a leafy part of London
A three-bedroom flat with a spacious rootop terrace and balcony, accessed from a private gated courtyard
A Grade II-listed pile with six bedrooms, stables and 39 acres of grounds in Standlake
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village
A one-bedroom, luxury apartment with private gym and concierge service in Moorgate
A four-bedroom house in Hermitage Gardens with three reception rooms and landscaped gardens
A seven-bedroom Grade II-listed property with a separate self-contained apartment
A five-bedroom Victorian house with three reception rooms and galleried landing, £695,000
A six-bedroom farmhouse with five acres of land in a former cloth-making village
A secluded seven-bedroom detached house with large private garden, £490,000
A three-bedroom cottage overlooking Sarratt village green with open fires and solid oak floors