Santander warns football fans not to score an own goal this summer amid warning that £780,000 could be lost

  • Santander data reveals an 82% increase in football ticket scams reported to the bank last year compared to 2022.
  • Based on the increase seen over previous years, £780,000 is at risk of being lost to criminals through ticket scams across the UK.
  • 19 to 34 year olds are most at risk of falling victim, accounting for 42% of all ticket scams seen by the bank. Santander has, therefore, partnered with football freestyler Ben Nuttall (@bnfreestyle) and Alex Barker (@euroexpert), a football influencer and commentator, to help protect football fans.

Ahead of Euro 2024 kicking off, Santander UK is urging football fans to stay vigilant, as new data published today shows football fans lost over £113,000 last year in ticket scams.

If the same year-on-year increase in football ticket scams occurs across 2024 then Santander customers could potentially lose over £200,000. Santander’s analysis also suggests that across the whole industry the total impact could be significantly larger with at least 1,100 victims of football ticket scams looking at losing approximately £780,0001.

A ticket scam occurs when a customer purchases a ticket for an event, but the ticket either does not exist or is never received by the buyer. Across all ticket scams last year, Santander data found that where the origin of the scam was known, Facebook and X, formerly Twitter, accounted for around two thirds of all ticket scams.

To help raise awareness of ticket scams in the build-up to and during Euro 2024, Santander has subbed on football freestyler Ben Nuttall (@bnfreestyle) and Alex Barker (@euroexpert), a football influencer and commentator, to help fans protect themselves against ticket scams.

The UEFA website is the only place to purchase official tickets, including resale tickets. While general admission tickets are currently sold out, any further tickets on sale will be sold directly by UEFA rather than on social media or elsewhere.

Chris Ainsley, Head of Fraud Risk Management at Santander said: “For many fans, this will be the first Euros since 2016 they can attend due to the pandemic, and with both England and Scotland qualifying, we know many will be desperate to get their hands on tickets to the big games.

“Unfortunately, criminals know this too, and they’ll be looking for ways to exploit fans’ excitement and extort money from them. Avoid scoring an own goal by getting scammed off the pitch - so you can enjoy the action on it.” 

Top tips to give scammers the red card and avoid falling for a Euro 2024 ticket scam include:

  • Only buy tickets for Euro 2024 directly from UEFA. The ballot and last-minute tickets from UEFA have now all sold-out, but UEFA has said that if any further tickets become available, they will be available from the UEFA website directly.
  • Don’t let desperation get the better of you. Whether looking for a ticket now or wanting to join in on the fun later as your team progresses, tickets are now sold out so don’t let the excitement of the moment make you buy a ticket from a non-legitimate source. 
  • Never pay by bank transfer or PayPal friends and family. If you are buying a resale ticket not directly from UEFA, never pay by bank transfer or PayPal friends and family. Opt for safer payment methods, like debit or credit cards. 
  • Make sure the website you are buying from is safe. 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’.
  • And don’t forget, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Santander ticket scam shows:

  • In 2023, Santander customers reported £113,103 in football ticket scams, up 82% from £62,208 in 2022.
  • Across all types of ticket scams where the origin of the scam was known, Facebook accounted for 52% of all ticket scams, with X (formerly Twitter) accounting for 15%.
  • Across all types of ticket scams where the origin of the scam was known, 19–34 year-olds made up 42% of all ticket scams, with 35-50 year-olds second with 29%.

More information about different types of fraud and how to spot a scam is available on the Santander website.

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Notes to editors

  1. Industry figures: The estimates for the overall volume and value of cases within the industry are extrapolated from Santander UK's 14 million active customers and assume a proportional volume and value among customers of other banks.

Santander UK is a financial services provider in the UK that offers a wide range of personal and commercial financial products and services. At 31 December 2023, the bank had around 19,800 employees and serves around 14 million active customers, 7 million digital customers via a nationwide 444 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 and one of the largest banks in the world by market capitalization. The group’s activities are consolidated into five global businesses: Retail & Commercial Banking, Digital Consumer Bank, Corporate & Investment Banking (CIB), Wealth Management & Insurance and Payments (PagoNxt and Cards). This operating model allows the bank to better leverage its unique combination of global scale and local leadership. 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 quarter of 2024, Banco Santander had €1.3 trillion in total funds, 166 million customers, 8,400 branches and 211,000 employees.