Crackdown on Ticket Fraud

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The national police lead on economic crime has revealed that ticketing fraud cost victims over £3.7m last year and called for ticket distributors to work with police to tackle it.

Commander Stephen Head, of City of London police, was speaking as the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) launches a focus week on ticketing fraud

Ticket fraud can relate to flights as well as music, sporting or religious events. The broad modus operandi is that tickets are sold to victims which either don't exist or never materialise.

Commander Stephen Head said:

"For many consumers, the financial hit is not the hardest pill to swallow. It is the fact that these thieves have robbed them of a magical moment and deprived them of memories that last a lifetime.

The key to avoiding the conmen and securing that 'golden ticket' is to only buy from a venue's box office, promoter, official agent or reputable ticket exchange website. Taking a punt on an unofficial seller, be it over the internet or face-to-face, is just not worth the risk."

During the week of action, operational activity will take place in targeted hotspots around the country. In addition, forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will have their own messaging on the topic and have been supplied with promotional materials from partner organisation Get Safe Online.

Tony Neate, Chief Executive of getsafeonline.org, said:

"Criminals have a captured market of fans that will do anything to get a ticket, which makes festivals and concerts a prime target for fraud. But there are some simple steps that can be taken to protect you from fraud, and we would urge you to be cautious when spending money on tickets as we head towards the summer months."

For advice on how to avoid ticketing fraud visit www.getsafeonline.org.

If you have been a victim of ticket fraud, or any other form of fraud, report it to www.actionfraud.police.uk.

Citizens Advice's 'Scams Awareness Month' runs throughout May. More information on that is available at www.citizensadvice.org.uk/sam14

Catherine Dunn
Neighbourhood & Home Watch Network (England & Wales)

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