Online ticket scams

When buying tickets for sporting events, concerts or music festivals, it can be tricky to figure out whether an online seller or site is legitimate. There are a number of steps you can take to protect yourself when buying tickets online.

Check out the site

Take a look around the website – it should give the name, physical address (not a PO Box) and contact details of whoever is running it.

Just because the site ends in ‘.ie’, does not mean it is based in Ireland – in most cases it is the registered postal address of the seller that will tell you where they are based. If the site is based outside Ireland or the EU, it can be more difficult to get a solution in the case of a problem.

Check reviews

Checking reviews of the seller or site is a useful way of working out whether it’s legitimate or not. Look at different online forums to see if others have had negative experiences with the same seller.

Do not rely on reviews from just one website or forum, as they could be vulnerable to fake reviews. If many of the reviews use the same language or seem repetitive this could mean that they should not be trusted.

You can also check the site’s social media accounts – most legitimate businesses have an active online presence. You should also be wary of buying from social media pages that don’t have an official website associated with them.

If you are buying from an online auction site, such as eBay, always take a look at the seller’s history and any feedback they have received.

Check the ticket regulations

Check the official ticketing site for the event you are going to. Are individuals allowed to resell tickets for the event? If they are not, you may be refused entry to an event, even if you have a legitimate ticket.

For example, tickets for certain events may only be resold through a ticket portal authorised by the organising body. Tickets for music festivals are often for named individuals only and cannot be sold on.

Check the ticket details

Make sure you know the full price of the ticket – the face value plus any related delivery charges or booking fees.

You should check that the tickets listed have key information such as whether the tickets are seated or standing, what section they are in and the face value of the ticket.

Check out the payment options

When paying for tickets online, only use sites that have a secure payment section. You can check this by looking for a padlock symbol. You should also make sure the web address starts with https:// in the payment section rather than http:// (the ‘s’ stands for secure).

If paying a large sum of money for tickets, you should consider using your debit or credit card as you may be able to request a chargeback if things go wrong. A chargeback is when your card provider agrees to reverse the transaction.

Never send payment by bank/money transfer as this cannot be traced once the funds reach the seller.

What should you do if things go wrong?

If you have been the victim of a ticketing scam, you should contact your local Garda station immediately.

Contact us and tell us about any ticketing scam you, your friends, family or colleagues have experienced. Building awareness about scams is the best way to put a stop to them.

Take a look at our other information on scams and on your consumer rights around concerts and match tickets.

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