Taylor Swift fans targeted by surge in concert ticket scams, major bank warns

More than £1 million could already have been lost in the UK to fraudsters pretending to offer Taylor Swift concert tickets, a major bank estimates.

Lloyds Bank has issued a warning to fans, saying that more than 600 Lloyds Banking Group customers have come forward so far to report being scammed.

The figures were based on analysis of relevant purchase scams reported by customers of Lloyds Bank, Halifax and Bank of Scotland, where Swift and/or the Eras Tour were referenced as part of the claim, between July 2023 and March 2024.

The average amount lost by each victim was £332, though in some cases the loss was more than £1,000, Lloyds said.

As the figures are based solely on Lloyds Bank’s own customer data, it estimates that, across the UK, there are likely to have been at least 3,000 victims since tickets went on sale, with more than £1 million being lost to fraudsters so far.

The calculation is based on Lloyd Banking Group’s current account market share and assumes similar trends across customers of other UK banks.

Fans aged 25 to 34 who are trying to get their hands on sold-out tickets are most likely to be targeted, with many scams originating on social media, Lloyds warned.

Looking more broadly at concert ticket scams, fans of major artists such as Coldplay, Beyonce and Harry Styles were among those targeted last summer, Lloyds said.

Across all concert ticket scams, victims were losing £133 on average.

A laptop user
Lloyds said concert-goers should buy tickets from well-known, official platforms and be cautious on social media (Tim Goode/PA)

Purchase scams can happen when someone is tricked into sending money via bank transfer to buy goods or services that are fake, shoddy, or do not exist.

Ticket scams often involve fake adverts, posts or listings on social media, often offering tickets or access to events which have already sold out.

Victims are asked to pay up-front for the tickets, but once the payment is made the scammers disappear. This leaves the buyer without the tickets and out of pocket.

When tickets for an event are scarce, fraudsters know they can cash in on eager fans willing to pay much more, by falsely claiming to have tickets for sale.

There are often two waves of fraud – the first when tickets go on sale and the second around the time an event takes place – Lloyds said.

Liz Ziegler, fraud prevention director, Lloyds Bank, said: “For her legion of dedicated Swifties, the excitement is building ahead of Taylor’s Eras Tour finally touching down in the UK this summer.

“However cruel fraudsters have wasted no time in targeting her most loyal fans as they rush to pick up tickets for her must-see concerts.

“It’s easy to let our emotions get the better of us when we find out our favourite artist is going to be performing live, but it’s important not to let those feelings cloud our judgment when trying to get hold of tickets.”

Lisa Webb, consumer law expert at Which?, said: “We’ve heard from disappointed Swifties who have bought tickets on social media, only to realise it’s a scam when their promised tickets never materialise. Unfortunately, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

“Don’t be tempted to buy tickets from anyone other than authorised sellers, as your rights can be significantly reduced if something goes wrong. If you are buying tickets, we recommend you pay using your credit card if the tickets cost more than £100, or by PayPal, as both these methods may provide protection if something goes wrong.

“If you think you have fallen victim to a ticket scam, contact your bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud or Police Scotland.”

Here are some general tips from Lloyds Bank to stay safe when buying concert tickets:

1. Buy from trusted retailers

Only purchase tickets from well-known, official ticket platforms.

Be cautious on social media – remember it is easy for fraudsters to create fake ads including pictures of real tickets.

2. Avoid deals that look too good to be true

Tickets for sale at low prices or for sold-out events should ring alarm bells. Ask yourself if the deal seems realistic.

3. Consider paying by debit or credit card

This helps to protect your money should something go wrong. PayPal is another option that gives people added protections if something goes wrong.