Fraudster rips off £65,000 from Take That fans and holidaymakers

Fraudster Simon Webb made £65,000 from flogging fake gig tickets and holiday bookings through business agency, Lowestoft Travel. Take That fans found themselves waiting on the side of the road for a coach to a concert that never turned up.

Webb has been jailed for 16 months. But with the festival season in full swing, how do you make sure you don't get stung too?

Captive fan market

It's the worst time for ticket fraud with nearly 50% of all fraudulent tickets reported in July and August - many of them music gigs. "Criminals have a captured market of fans that will do anything to get a ticket, which makes festivals and concerts a prime target for fraud," said Tony Neate, boss of

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau claims 46% of fraudulent tickets are bought online. Most victims, they say, make contact with fraudsters online. So it's strongly advised you buy tickets direct from the box office, promoter or official agent direct, or reputable ticket exchange websites.

PayPay protection?

If you buy tickets off eBay or a fan site, don't transfer cash directly into a bank account the NFIB advises. Use a secure payment site such as PayPal where money is transferred between two electronic accounts. PayPal claims that if you pay for something and it never arrives or "doesn't match the seller's description, then we'll give you your money back."

As long, though, as PayPal's eligibility requirements are met: PayPal says claims can only be made for goods that can be posted and buyers must raise a dispute within 45 days of a single PayPal payment.

Or deploy your credit card

Or pay by credit card. That's because the card issuer is jointly liable for any failure to provide goods or services - provided the cash price of a single ticket costs more than £100. (Thank Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 here.)

If you pay by debit card, Consumer Direct admits, unfortunately, you're not covered by Section 75 "and there is no legal obligation on the card provider to reimburse you. You may though be able to ask for money back under the 'chargeback' procedure operated by members of the Visa and Mastercard schemes". So check with your bank.

Report it

If you've a smartphone, think about downloading the PayPal mobile app - you can pay someone with just their mobile number or email address, as well as using it on the high street.

Finally, if you think you have been ripped off, report it to Action Fraud, the UK's national fraud reporting centre. Or call 0300 123 20 40.

Revealed: The 10 most common scams

Revealed: The 10 most common scams