If possible, try to buy tickets from the event’s website or official re-sellers. You can’t always do that if the event is sold out though. So if you’re buying tickets form someone else, make sure to keep these safety tips in mind.
- Try to avoid buying e-tickets, or tickets that are printed out.
- It goes without saying...if the tickets are being re-sold very cheap compared to the original price, regardless of the reason given, be aware that there may be something wrong.
- Make sure the tickets are real by meeting the seller and checking them. This way you also avoid the risk of not receiving them.
- Check the venue, date, and seating details printed on the ticket are match what the seller’s ad said. It's also a smart idea to check they match the event's venue as well, to make sure the ticket's legit.
- Before buying, check that the tickets are still valid and the event hasn’t been cancelled. Also make sure the tickets can be resold and that there aren’t any age restrictions on them. We've had reports where the original buyer had to be present for the second buyer to go in, so read up on the terms and conditions of the event.
- If you’re buying them online, make sure the original tickets have already been sent out by the official sellers. Some tickets can be pre-ordered, so make sure the person you’re buying from already has them.
- If it's a card ticket (the thicker ones, not the paper print outs), try scratching across the front of it lightly with your fingernail or a coin. If the markings smudge, the ticket is fake.
- Insist on getting the ticket's serial number. Any ticket which isn't bought from the booth on the day of the even comes with a bar code and serial number. You can use it to verify the ticket is valid with the company who issued it. Doing this will help you avoid being a victim when someone buys a tickets, reports it as stolen to get a refund, and then tries to sell the invalid ticket.
- You can also ask to see the receipt along with the purchasing credit card. You'll be able to know if that person actually bought the ticket this way.
- We suggest you read some of Action Fraud's advice about ticket fraud. You can never know enough.
What should I look out for when buying tickets online?
Some people will try to avoid meeting you in person. If you live close by there is no reason why they shouldn’t, so try to avoid buying from them.
Also, if the person you're corresponding with is always changing (first you spoke to Mary, then she asked you to speak to Steve, then Mike), be on the look out. They're all ways to throw you off.
If they agree to meet you but ask you to pay beforehand, don’t do it.
If you really can't meet up and need them sent to you by post, ask for a tracking number and check it regularly.
Some sellers may ask you to go to another website and buy the tickets from there. If the person doesn’t have the tickets, don’t risk buying them from an unprotected online website.
And pay extra attention if you’re looking for popular event or concert tickets. There’s a higher risk of people trying to sell fake tickets.
Some events have a no-resale policy. Always check the official website for information about buying tickets. Some tickets (like Glastonbury Festival tickets) will have a photo of the original buyer on them. This means that no one else can use that tickets. Always double check a ticket’s re-sale terms.
Same thing with buying airline tickets. Call the airline directly to check the the flight exists and get more information about the flight, like flight number, dates and times and match it with what's on the ticket you're considering buying. Get info about ticket transfer, including any fees you may need to pay to change the name on the ticket. If accommodation is part of the bundle, check that the hotel has a booking for those dates and that everything (food, spa, airport transfers) promised is included. Consider that there may be fees for changing the name on the booking.
Quick tip: Get more advice by visiting the Get Safe Online website.
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