Online ticketing report to be published amid fraud warnings

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A report into the protections in place for consumers buying tickets online is to be published today.

Business Secretary Sajid Javid commissioned the review of the secondary ticketing market last October.

It coincides with repeated warnings to consumers that ticket touts are increasingly prevalent and turning to social media to dupe unsuspecting customers out of hundreds of pounds at a time.

The Local Government Association warned last week that music and sports fans lost more than £5 million to online ticket fraud last year, up from £3.35 million in 2014.

Customers who bought fake tickets lost an average of £444 per transaction, with social media sites accounting for nearly half of all reported scams.

The watchdog Which? has also warned that tickets to popular events have been appearing on re-sale sites immediately - or even before - they go on general sale.

The secondary ticketing "stitch-up" has left consumers forced to buy tickets for far higher than the face value as soon as they are released, Which? said.

While it is not illegal to resell tickets for profit, it is thought that some of the selling patterns are only possible because of the use of "botnets" - computer programmes pre-loaded with different names, addresses and credit card details which are used to target ticketing agents.

Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, consumers must be notified of any restrictions on the tickets, all seating details and the original face value of the ticket.

But Which? found these rules being repeatedly flouted on all the major secondary ticketing sites.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has said it is important that consumers get a "fair deal" on secondary ticketing.