Police warning after Taylor Swift fans and others targeted in ticket sale scams in Northern Ireland

Police have issued warnings for people to be careful when buying concert tickets online as almost £300,000 was lost to ticket fraud last year in Northern Ireland.
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Fraudulent sellers often disguise their sites using genuine sites as their design, offering cheap deals on tickets that you wouldn't see anywhere else. but there will be subtle differences buyers should look closely at, such as the website address.

A recent example includes a report of a person who thought they'd bought Taylor Swift tickets for £400 via an online 'Buy and Sell' page. The person was then asked to pay a further sum of money for a change of name, which they did. Once all the money was transferred, the buyer was blocked by the seller. The tickets never arrived and the person was swindled out of their money. The exact same happened to another person last month who paid over £600 for what they thought were Taylor Swift tickets.

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With big acts like Bruce Springsten, Billy Joel and Coldplay among those playing this year a warning like this is timely. Chief Superintendent Pollock says: “People should only buy tickets from legitimate, authorised ticket sellers and resellers as criminals will exploit the eagerness by fans to get their hands on tickets for a show or gig they really want to go to.

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"The safest way to ensure tickets bought are genuine is to purchase them from the authorised ticket seller or authorised re-seller. We'd also advise against buying tickets from other sources, such as third parties because you can never be sure of the validity and authenticity of the tickets. When purchasing a ticket from a reseller you should also check the re-sale or transfer policy for that concert, often there are strict policies regarding how tickets can be sold or transferred, breaching these can mean your ticket is invalid.

"Similarly, some events require the person booking the tickets to attend the event, so it’s always important to check the fine print of the event itself. Ticket fraud is a continuing problem and fraudsters will try everything to lure people into falling for their scams. It is vital people take care when buying tickets.

"Follow our Stop. Check. Report. advice and recognise the signs of ticket fraud before getting caught out and remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is."

The Police have issued a simple three step warning when buying tickets, it follows:

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STOP - Whilst it’s always tempting to rush in and buy those hot tickets, don’t rush into buying a ticket. Do not transfer money by bank transfer and only pay by a protect payment method.

CHECK - Check the website or re-seller you are buying from before you buy. Check the events ticket re-sale policy to make sure tickets re-sold remain valid, or if there is a designated resale agent, or specific policies for this event or venue. Check the venue or the event website. If you have bought a ticket, and you are concerned about the validity of it, check with the event on its validity.

REPORT - If you lose money in a ticket fraud, don’t just shake it off, report it to police at www.psni.police.uk/report or to your bank. You can also report to Action Fraud on www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling police on 101. Further information is available at www.psni.police.uk/ticket-fraud