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Thousands of Taylor Swift fans hit by UK ticket scams

By Agence France-Presse Published Apr 17, 2024 8:22 am

Thousands of fans of pop megastar Taylor Swift have been hit by a wave of concert ticket scams ahead of her Eras Tour in the UK later this year, a British bank said Wednesday, April 17.

At least 3,000 victims are likely to have been tricked into buying fake tickets since July, with over £1 million (over P71 million) being lost to fraudsters so far, Lloyds Bank said.

The average amount lost by each victim was £332 (over P23,500), though in some cases it was more than £1,000 (over P71,000). 

The bank said more than 90% of reported cases started with fake adverts or posts on Facebook. 

Concert ticket scams had risen by 158% since last summer compared to the same period a year earlier, the bank added.

US singer Beyonce, British band Coldplay and musician Harry Styles are the artists most commonly used in the targeting, it noted.

Across all concert ticket scams, victims were losing £133 (over P9,000) on average.

A search of Facebook revealed dozens of unofficial groups had been set up, many with tens of thousands of members, specifically for people looking to buy and sell tickets for Swift concerts, Lloyds said.

Facebook Marketplace, the social media company's trading platform, has various listings for tickets at venues nationwide, the bank said.

The scams usually involve fake adverts, posts or listings on social media, offering tickets at discounted prices, or access to events which have already sold out at inflated prices. 

Victims are asked to pay upfront for the tickets, but once the payment is made, the scammers disappear. This leaves the buyer without the tickets and out of pocket. 

"If you're being asked to pay by bank transfer, particularly from a seller you've found on social media, that should immediately set alarm bells ringing," said Lloyds Bank fraud prevention director Liz Ziegler.

"Buying directly from reputable, authorised platforms is the only way to guarantee you're paying for a genuine ticket. Even then, always pay by debit or credit card for the greatest protection." (AFP)