Byline: Monica Cafferky
Music and sport stars including Kate Nash, JLS and Freddie Flintoff are supporting a move to stamp out bogus ticket sellers and websites.
More and more people are falling victim to fraudsters who are operating sites that advertise tickets for sale but never send them. They simply take your money and disappear - the website often shuts down ahead of the event.
Research from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), which is launching the "Just Tick It" campaign, shows that last year one in 12 ticket buyers fell prey to this scam and lost an average of pounds 80.
It's a multi-million pound industry, as the Mirror reported last week when one notorious tout was convictged of fraud.
Platinum-selling artist Kate Nash is backing the campaign after seeing how upsetting the experience can be.
She says: "Last year a friend paid pounds 200 for a festival ticket which never arrived. He was so disappointed that he couldn't go. It's disgusting to scam people who just want to have a good time."
Michele Shambrook, from the OFT, adds: "Many of these scammers are sophisticated and create websites that look and sound like the legitimate ones. They make it very difficult to spot a fake.
"Fraudsters target the big music and sporting events as so many fans are willing to go to any lengths to get hold of a ticket.
"It also happens at smaller events, though, everything from classical summer concerts and theatre shows through to tickets for niche festivals across the UK. The scam can affect anyone who wants to buy a ticket."
In addition to Kate Nash, music and sport personalities such as Dave Rowntree from Blur, Dan Hipgrave from T oploader and rugby stars Lee Byrne, Ben Foden and Steve Borthwick are pushing the campaign. Dan from Toploader says: "I was conned when I was 17 after buying a fake Glastonbury ticket - so I know how it feels."
John Probyn, festival director for Download and Live Music Nation, says: "This fraud has grown over the past three years and is now a big business.
"It needs to be stopped. The concert and festival industries are working together to combat this but it's all about making the public aware of the lengths people will go to con them out of their money."
Stay scam safe
Ask yourself the following before buying any kind of tickets online: How has the website got the tickets to sell? Check with the event organisers to find out when tickets are being released and when the tickets will be sent out.
What are others saying about the website? Search the internet to find out about other people's experiences with this company.
Can you contact the company? Check that it has a postal address and a working landline number.
Can they provide ticket details? Ensure that the face value of the tickets and the seat location/festival area are clearly listed.
Do they provide refunds? Make sure they do in case something goes wrong. …