The scam: Ticket scams happen when a scammer sells somebody a fake ticket for an event or sells them a ticket that never existed in the first place.  Sales are typically advertised on social media or through fake websites.

Volume (Santander data): So far in 2023 (1st January – 31st July 2023) the number of reported ticket scams by Santander customers have more than doubled from 789 to 1,905 from the same period last year.  The average claim was for £107.

Santander data also shows:

  • Customers aged between 19-34 years accounted for 60% of all claims. 13-18 year olds made up 14% of claims, 35-50 year olds 15% of claims, 51-65 year olds 8.5% of claims, and under 2% of claims were made by people aged 66 and over.
  • Customers aged 35 and older reported the biggest loses with an average loss of £194, more than 2.5 times higher than the average £77 loss for people aged 13-34.
  • Concerts and festival tickets had the highest reported claims accounting for nearly half (47%) of all claims made, followed by football games (17% of all claims) and flights (7% of all claims).
  • Two thirds of all claims (67%) from customers said their scam originated from social media sites.

Chris Ainsley, Head of Fraud Risk Management at Santander said: “Whether buying tickets for your favourite artist, the Rugby World Cup, or your football team, don’t score an own goal by getting scammed.

“If anybody has been contacted by a stranger or sees an advert online with a deal that seems too good to be true, it may be exactly that. People should be alert to potential scams and only buy tickets from official ticket sellers.”

Fake ticket websites - how it works: You find a website offering tickets to an event. Sometimes it can be an event where tickets haven’t gone on sale yet or are sold out elsewhere. You purchase the tickets, and one of these scenarios can happen:

  • The tickets never arrive
  • A company representative is supposed to meet you at the event but they never turn up
  • You receive the tickets, but they’re fake

You try to contact the company but can’t get through. Unfortunately, the money has gone to the criminal and the official ticket does not exist.

Fake tickets through social media - how it works: You find someone on social media selling tickets.  You reach out to that person, they tell you there is a lot of interest and pressure you to make a full payment to secure them.

You transfer the money to buy the tickets and are promised one of these outcomes:

  • They’ll send them to you, you give your details, but they don’t arrive
  • They say they will meet you at the event on the day to hand them over, but no-one turns up
  • You receive the tickets, however these turn out to be fake

You try to contact the person on social media. You either can’t get through to them, get ignored, or they have closed their social media account down.

How to keep yourself safe from ticket scams:

  • Always buy tickets through trustworthy official sellers and websites, this is the safest way to book tickets.
  • Consider alternative payment methods that may offer greater protection such as credit cards.
  • If you are buying football tickets, be aware it is illegal to re-sell football tickets. You should always buy direct from the football club.
  • When buying online, check the payment pages are secure by looking for the padlock symbol in the address bar. The website should start with ‘https’.
  • If something looks too good to be true, it probably is.

- Ends -

The information contained in our press releases is intended solely for journalists and should not be used by consumers to make financial decisions.

Notes to Editors

Santander UK is a financial services provider in the UK that offers a wide range of personal and commercial financial products and services. At 30 June 2023, the bank had around 19,400 employees and serves around 14 million active customers, 7 million digital customers via a nationwide 445 branch network, telephone, mobile and online banking. Santander UK is subject to the full supervision of the FCA and the PRA in the UK. Santander UK plc customers’ eligible deposits are protected by the FSCS in the UK.

Banco Santander (SAN SM, STD US, BNC LN) is a leading commercial bank, founded in 1857 and headquartered in Spain. It has a meaningful presence in 10 core markets in the Europe, North America and South America regions, and is one of the largest banks in the world by market capitalization. Santander aims to be the best open financial services platform providing services to individuals, SMEs, corporates, financial institutions and governments. The bank’s purpose is to help people and businesses prosper in a simple, personal and fair way. Santander is building a more responsible bank and has made a number of commitments to support this objective, including raising €220 billion in green financing between 2019 and 2030. In the first half of 2023, Banco Santander had €1.25 trillion in total funds, 164 million customers, 9,000 branches and 212,000 employees.