Brits warned over summer events ticket fraud
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Fraud experts have warned that more than half a million Brits will get caught out by ticket fraud to high-profile events this summer alone. And with some 4,000 websites already flogging fake Olympic tickets, it's easy to see why so many get fleeced.
According to the Metropolitan Police, ticketing fraud cost the UK an estimated £168 million last year and finding the real thing is becoming increasingly difficult.
Many websites purporting to sell genuine tickets to music festivals and sporting events appear legitimate, with London addresses and phone numbers... but they are not always what they seem and consumers often find the site simply disappears once they've handed over their credit or debit card details.
And summer is something of a boom time for the fraudsters as music and sports fans try to buy tickets for sold out events.
Detective Superintendent Tony Crampton, of the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, told the Daily Mail: "We are at a time of the year when fraudsters will be using the brightest and best in fake websites to try and cash in."
Already the 2012 Olympic Organising Committee has warned that tickets to next year's events can only be sold via their official website, due to go live next year.
But fraud experts warn that fake sites crop up almost as quickly as they are being shut down and consumers should be extra careful - always pay by credit card, which will allow you to claim money back if you are the victim of ticket fraud, and be sure to check the official event website to find out where tickets are being sold.
DSI Crampton added: "Anyone considering buying a ticket from a non-official website should ask themselves whether it is really worth the risk."
Have you been the victim of ticketing fraud? Let us know below...