There has been a surge in football ticket scams ahead of the start of the new season, according to Lloyds Bank.
Analysis conducted by the bank suggests reported cases of ticket scams relating to football increased by more than two-thirds, or 68%, between January and June this year, compared to July to December 2021.
Victims lost £410 on average, the bank said.
The figures were based on the analysis of purchase scams reported by the bank’s customers.
Lloyds said fraudsters have exploited the demand of people wanting to attend live events after the coronavirus pandemic and added it has seen an increase in purchase scams targeting concert tickets as well as sporting events.
Fraud sales for gigs have gone up by 72% so far this year.
Top-level football in particular has been a fruitful avenue of revenue for the scammers, who take advantage of fans’ desperation to watch their teams, knowing many matches will be sold out, the bank said.
The bank added that scams happen when people are tricked into sending money from their bank account to fraudsters online and once the money has been transferred, the scammer disappears and the victim receives nothing.
Lloyds said it is important to remember fraudsters will target any major event where demand is likely to exceed supply.
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Liz Ziegler, retail fraud and financial crime director at 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.”