Lloyds Bank is warning that it has seen a surge in ticket scam reports, as the new football season gets underway.
Reported cases of football ticket scams increased by more than two-thirds (68%) between January and June this year, compared with July to December 2021, with victims losing £410 on average, the bank said.
The figures were based on 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 coronavirus restrictions, Lloyds said, adding that it has seen an increase in purchase scams targeting tickets for concerts as well as sporting events.
Top-level football in particular has been a hunting ground for criminals, as they take advantage of fans’ desperation to watch their team, knowing that many matches will be sold out, the bank said.
It said such 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.
The bank said it is important to remember that fraudsters will target any major event where demand for tickets is likely to exceed supply.
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 in 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.