‘One in 10 conned’ by ticket sites

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One in 10 people who buy gig or sports tickets online have been left wanting by fake sites, according to the latest stats from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).

It’s now launching a new campaign to show how people can protect themselves.

Newsbeat’s been to meet one listener who lost out.

Lyndsey Wienand’s still feeling pretty stupid. Staring at her laptop in her Battersea flat in south London, the 27-year-old explained how she paid out almost £300 for Madonna tickets.

“It was the one gig I really wanted to see, so I splashed out a bit.

“I went online and the first site I came to looked genuine but I obviously didn’t look hard enough,” she said.

As the date of the gig got closer and closer the tickets still hadn’t turned up.

“I typed in the website name to get their phone number and the first things that came up were a load of complaints.

OFT ONLINE TICKET BUYING ADVICE Continue reading the main story

  • Find out what other people are saying about the site. Type its name into a search engine and see if there’s any bad feedback.
  • Check out how long the site’s been going. Have you heard of them, are they making claims that seem too good to be true?
  • Make sure you can contact the site. If they give a phone number, call it before you book anything.
  • Make sure there’s a refund policy if something goes wrong.
  • Report any problems to the police to get a crime reference number. And if you’re spending more than £100, pay on credit card because you’ll get protection from fraud.

“Lots of people saying the same thing had happened to them. The site had just closed down and vanished. It was impossible to contact them,” explained Lyndsey.

“I was just so gutted and felt really stupid. It’s the sort of thing you think happens to other people.”

Lyndsey’s not alone. The OFT says it’s happened to one in 10 people who’ve gone online to buy tickets.

Have you ever been left ticketless?

Part of the problem is that the sites often look like the real deal.

Mike Haley from the OFT isn’t surprised people are conned.

He said: “People are often quite desperate to get tickets to a fast-selling concert.

“They get excited and when they see a site’s guaranteeing a ticket, they jump in.”

Getting your money back can be very hard.

Luckily, Lyndsey got her money back from her credit card company but says she’ll be more careful next time.

“I was so gutted not to see Madonna. I did feel like an idiot. The site looked really professional but I should’ve been more careful.”

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