Mobile phone showing a QR code with the words too good to be true, be aware, spot the signs, report ticket fraud if it happens to you.
Mobile phone showing a QR code with the words too good to be true, be aware, spot the signs, report ticket fraud if it happens to you.

Avid fans desperate to get their hands on tickets for popular and sold-out events are urged to be on their guard against fraudulent sellers, the Police Service of Northern Ireland has warned. 

The appeal for vigilance follows continuing reports of ticket fraud from people across Northern Ireland, with individual losses amounting to hundreds of pounds. Some recent examples of reports made in the last month to police include people being duped into paying for what they thought were genuine tickets for Coldplay and Taylor Swift concerts and a Premier League football match. In all cases, the ‘tickets’ were advertised online, and payment made accordingly.

"It's soul-destroying for the people who have been swindled," says Chair of ScamwiseNI Partnership, Chief Superintendent Gerard Pollock. "They've been tricked into thinking they've finally got genuine tickets. Instead, they've been left bitterly disappointed, they're out of pocket and no closer to attending the event they so desperately wanted to be at."

Ticket fraud often involves the use of images and graphics taken from genuine sellers to make fake websites look like the real deal, or use contact through social media. The advertisement, or offer, may appear genuine, but there will be subtle differences buyers should look closely at, such as the website address.

Chief Superintendent Pollock says people should only buy tickets from legitimate, authorised ticket sellers and resellers as criminals will exploit the eagerness by fans to get their hands on tickets for a show or gig they really want to go to.

"The safest way to ensure tickets bought are genuine is to purchase them from the authorised ticket seller or authorised re-seller," says Chief Superintendent Pollock. “We'd also advise against buying tickets from other sources, such as third parties, because you can never be sure of their validity. When buying a ticket from a re-seller you should also check the re-sale or transfer policy for that concert. Often there are strict policies regarding how tickets can be sold or transferred, breaching these can mean your ticket is invalid.

"Similarly, some events require the person booking the tickets to attend the event, so it’s always important to check the fine print of the event itself. Follow our Stop. Check. Report. advice and recognise the signs of ticket fraud before getting caught out and remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is."

If you lose money in a ticket fraud, report it to your bank and to Action Fraud on or call police on 101. You can also find out more on our website at

Stop. Check. Report.

STOP - Don’t rush into buying a ticket. Do not transfer money by bank transfer and only pay by a protect payment method. 

CHECK - Check the website or re-seller you are buying from before you buy. Check the events ticket re-sale policy to make sure tickets re-sold remain valid, or if there is a designated resale agent, or specific policies for this event or venue. Check the venue or the event website. If you have bought a ticket, and you are concerned about the validity of it, check with the event on its validity.

REPORT - If you lose money in a ticket fraud, don’t just shake it off, report it to police at or to your bank. You can also report to Action Fraud on or by calling police on 101. Further information is available at