If you’ve tried to buy tickets for a festival, football match or concert, there’s a fair chance you’ve been scammed. Now fraudsters help victims get money back from credit card companies in a bid not to be reported.
Ticket scammers operating on unofficial websites are getting cleverer every day. Not only do they tempt you with last-minute must-have offers, they’re now pushing consumer laws to help you get a refund when they don’t deliver.
Ticket scammers using consumer laws
But now fraudsters are changing tack. Rather than just nicking your cash and leaving you distraught, they’re pretending they have a “legitimate” supplier problem and directing customers to money back advice.
The BBC recites a scam email sent to people who bought tickets to see Peter Kay from an unauthorised site:
‘Unfortunately we have been let down by our suppliers for the show and will be unable to provide you with the tickets ordered. Due to us not using the merchant terminal that charged you anymore we are unable to issue a refund from our side. To ensure you get the refund owed please contact your card issuer and instruct them to perform a chargeback to retrieve the funds paid.’
What the email refers to is section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974. This ensures that you’ll get a refund if you’ve spent between more than £100 (and less than £30,000) using a credit card. Debit cards and purchases under £100 aren’t covered, though many UK banks have signed up to the Lending Code, which should cover innocent victims of fraud if they haven’t acted negligently.
Report ticket scams no matter what
With fraudsters advising the ticket-less to get their money back from credit card companies, victims don’t bother to report the scam. Security specialist Reg Walker calls it “a clever scam” costing over £12m in the last year alone. It’d be interesting to hear what the credit card companies think about it.
In fact, I wonder how many ticket buyers out there are willing to take the risk knowing they’re likely to get their money back if they fall for a scam.
But back to legitimate victims… the ticket scam problem goes deeper than just being left out of pocket. Even if fraudsters don’t charge you for tickets that never turn up, they can still sell on your card details and any other info you’ve typed in.
The sad truth is – if the ticket deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Have a gander on the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (STAR) website – if your seller’s on there, it’s genuine. If it’s not, it might still be legitimate but you’ll need to do a bit of research – google the name of the seller with the word ‘complaints’. That should show up any issues.