Music fans are being warned to be wary of ticket fraud as Wireless Festival comes to Crystal Palace Park this year.
Wireless announced its new south London location in March and as music lovers scrambled to get tickets they have been warned fans about the dangers of fraud and scams.
Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud reporting service, issued a warning to shoppers as demand for tickets increased.
A spokesperson for Action Fraud said: “Many festivals and events scheduled to go ahead as coronavirus-related restrictions ease have already sold out – something criminals are more than happy to take advantage of.
“To avoid disappointment, only buy tickets from the venue directly, an official promotor or agent, or a well-known and reputable ticket site. Don’t be duped by offers on secondary ticketing websites or social media, as this is often where criminals will advertise fake tickets to popular events.
“Where possible, use a credit card to make purchases as it will offer greater protection if something goes wrong.”
As the lockdown roadmap promises live events without restriction from June this year, fraudsters have started taking advantage.
In 2020, there were 579 reports of ticket fraud and the total financial loss was £563,500.
During the start of the pandemic in February and March, reports of ticket fraud peaked at 143 and 68 respectively.
Numbers then declined as lockdown dampened hopes for live events in summer 2020.
Action Fraud received 216 reports of ticket fraud in February of this year – nearly half of all reports for 2020.
In February 2021 £272,300 was lost to ticket fraud at an average of £1,260 per victim.
On its website, Festival Republic said: “Since our ticket drop there’s been a massive increase in the number of tickets for sale on third party sites like Seatnet.com.
“These resales do not give you the same rights and protections as official outlets. Don’t fall for a scam.
“There is no way to know if these sellers are genuine and if the tickets they are offering even exist. If you show up with a ticket that turns out to be fake you will not be allowed into the festival.
“We strongly advise against purchasing from unofficial third-party outlets or from people on social media who you don’t know personally.”