Lloyds Bank warns of sharp increase in concert ticket scams

21 April 2023

  • Scams relating to concert tickets surged by more than 500% over the last year.
  • Victims losing £110 on average, though for some it can be thousands.
  • Fans of major artists and festivalgoers most likely to be targeted.
  • Lloyds Bank issues warning ahead of summer festival season.

Music lovers hoping to see their favourite artists perform live this summer need to be on their guard against ticket scams, according to a new warning from Lloyds Bank.

With demand to attend live events soaring in the aftermath of the pandemic, reported cases of people being scammed when buying concert tickets surged by 529% over the last year, with victims losing £110 on average.

The number of scams reported by those attempting to buy music festival tickets also more than doubled, up by 128% over the last 12 months compared to the previous year.

There were also big increases in the number of scams relating to bookings for comedy and theatre shows, though the volume of cases for both was much smaller.

Over the last year, these were among the most common artists and festivals being targeted, based on ticket scams reported by Lloyds Banking Group customers:

Concerts and gigs Music festivals
Harry Styles Reading
Lewis Capaldi Wireless
Coldplay Parklife
Calvin Harris Leeds

How a ticket scam works

Purchase scams happen when someone is tricked into sending money via bank transfer (also known as a Faster Payment) to buy goods or services that don’t exist

Ticket scams usually involve fake websites, social media posts or emails offering tickets at discounted prices, or access to events which have already sold out at inflated prices.

Victims are asked to pay upfront for the tickets, but once the payment is made, the scammers disappear. This leaves the buyer without the tickets and out of pocket.

When tickets for an event are scarce, fraudsters know they can cash in on desperate fans willing to pay much more.

The well-publicised issues experienced by some genuine online ticketing platforms recently – leaving many loyal fans unable to buy tickets through authorised sellers – has only created more opportunity for fraudsters, who can claim to have tickets available for any event.

Liz Ziegler, Fraud Prevention Director, Lloyds Bank, said: “Fraudsters are always changing their tactics to trick victims out of their hard-earned cash. With demand to attend live events soaring as the warmer weather approaches, they’ll waste no time in targeting music fans as they rush to pick up tickets for the most popular gigs and festivals.

“It’s easy to let our emotions get the better of us when we find out our favourite artist is going to be performing live, but it’s important not to let that excitement cloud our judgement when trying to get hold of tickets.

“Buying directly from reputable, authorised platforms is the only way to guarantee you’re paying for a real ticket. Even then, always pay by debit or credit card for the greatest protection.

“If you’re being asked to pay by bank transfer, particularly from a seller you’ve found on social media, that should immediately set alarm bells ringing.”

How to stay safe when buying tickets

Many consumers are unaware that bank transfers were not designed as a way of paying for goods and services online, and offer little protection if something goes wrong. It’s the electronic equivalent of handing over your cash to someone in the street.

However buyers who pay by credit card or debit card benefit from the well-established Section 75 and Chargeback rules which have been protecting consumers for decades.

It’s also important to remember that fraudsters will target ANY major event where demand for tickets is likely to exceed supply.

Top tips when buying concert and festival tickets

  • Buy from trusted retailers – only purchase tickets from well-known, reputable ticket selling platforms. Take extra precautions when buying tickets from third-party sellers.
  • Be cautious on social media – you don’t know if the user profile or tickets are genuine. It’s easy for fraudsters to create fake ads including pictures of real tickets.
  • Avoid deals that look too good to be true – tickets for sale at low prices or for sold-out events should ring alarm bells. Ask yourself if the deal seems realistic.
  • Pay with your debit or credit card – this helps to protect your money should something go wrong. PayPal is another option that’s usually safer than paying by bank transfer.