Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Exclusive Figures on Ticketing Fraud Released to Launch UK Awareness Campaign

  • Nearly 3000 cases totalling £1.3m lost to ticket fraud over six months to end October 2015
  • First time entertainment and sport ticket fraud statistics have been analysed separately
  • Part of #lookfortheSTAR anti-fraud campaign
  • Ticket agents and venues participating in industry-wide website and social media takeover
  • Aims to raise public awareness of the STAR kitemark

Today organisations and individuals from across the British entertainment industry have joined forces on a new public awareness campaign to help combat ticket fraud. The #lookfortheSTAR anti-fraud campaign coincides with exclusive new figures released by national body Action Fraud revealing nearly £1.3 million was reportedly lost through entertainment and sport ticket fraud in the six months to the end of October 2015.  

With 2885 reports registered, that represents a median loss of over £200 per individual case. Notably, this is the first time ever that statistics have been made available for just entertainment and sport ticket fraud, providing a much more accurate view of fraud in the sector compared to past figures which have included areas such as airline tickets or holidays. A high number of these reports relate to two companies, Circle Tickets and GetSporting.com, and cover such events as Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, AC/DC, Fleetwood Mac, Foo Fighters, One Direction and the Rugby World Cup, as well as the key festival season.

Led by the Society of Ticket Agents & Retailers (STAR), the wider #lookfortheSTAR campaign comes ahead of the peak Christmas ticket-buying period, and aims to help reduce fraud by educating and encouraging customers to always look for STAR’s kitemark when buying tickets. This identifies members of STAR, who must sign up to a strict Code of Practice, and guarantees that the ticket is from a reliable source, much like buying a holiday through an ABTA or ATOL registered travel agent.

The initiative is backed by the Concert Promoters Association (CPA), National Arenas Association (NAA), and the Society of London Theatre, as well as ticket agents, performers, venues and others within the entertainment industry. Other supporters include Action Fraud, Metropolitan Police and City of London Police.

Websites of STAR members including Ticketmaster, See Tickets, TicketWeb, ATG Tickets, The Ticket Factory, Eventim and Ticketline, as well as theatre and concert venues across the country, are today featuring the campaign, including ‘homepage’ takeovers, putting the #lookfortheSTAR message in front of hundreds of thousands of customers as they log on to buy tickets.

Adrian Sanders, Chairman of STAR said: "As well as cheating the consumer, every case of fraud damages the reputation of Britain's vital entertainment and sporting industries. Buying tickets from a STAR kitemarked seller will give consumers the confidence that their purchase comes with certain guarantees that protect their rights.”

Rob Edwards, Managing Director, Eventim UK Ltd added: "This level of ticket fraud shows that as an industry we have to come together to help ticket buyers avoid ticket sellers who deliberately set out to defraud them. We are a proud member of STAR and believe the best advice for customers is to only buy tickets from companies that display the STAR kitemark, a symbol of trust that shows the company has signed up to the STAR Code of Practice."

STAR members and other supporters are taking part in a Twitter campaign, with members also promoting the campaign in their own e-newsletters, increasing the reach by millions.  

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