The Society of Ticket Agents & Retailers (STAR) has warned that the number of reported incidences of ticket fraud, measured over a period of six months in 2017, is up nearly 38 per cent in comparison to the previous period. The society revealed the statistic as part of the launch of its ‘new-look’ website marking its 20th anniversary.
In 2015 STAR and Action Fraud released figures that revealed the number of reported incidences of ticket fraud, measured over a period of six months, was 2,885. The figures also included that the median value of loss per victim was £205.
Now, the two organisations have revealed that the number of reports, measured over the same period in 2017, increased to 3,973, up nearly 38 per cent in comparison to the previous period. The average of loss dropped to £195.
Adrian Sanders, chairman of STAR, commented: “What these latest figures show is just how important it is to have an organisation like STAR in place. Sadly, customers are continuing to fall prey to deliberate fraudsters and therefore need to know exactly where they should purchase tickets from safely. Despite the considerable advances in ticket fraud prevention, some customers are still too easily being tricked.
“Purchasing from a STAR member ensures you are buying from a company that has signed up to the high standards of our Code. It also means you have somewhere to turn to in the unlikely event that something goes wrong.”
City of London Police’s National Coordinator for Economic Crime, Temporary Commander Dave Clark, added: “As the National Lead Force for Fraud, we are thankful to STAR for working with us to protect people from ticketing fraud. Whether people are buying tickets for the theatre, a festival, a concert or a sports event, they need to remain vigilant and be aware that there are fraudsters all over the globe trying to make money out of people’s desire to buy tickets quickly and easily online. If a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is. We recommend that people buy from reputable ticket sellers who are members of STAR.”
DCI Gary Miles, from the Metropolitan Police FALCON Unit, said: “The MPS is committed to working in collaboration with external partners to protect people from becoming victims of fraud.
“The work of STAR over the last 20 years is a prime example of this aspiration being realised; ticketing fraud can have a significant impact on those people who find themselves suffering at the hands of callous and cruel offenders,” he concluded.
STAR held its inaugural meeting in December 1997 and began its work in 1998 as the self-regulatory body for the entertainment ticket industry. For twenty-years, STAR has worked as a champion for ticket buyers through its self-regulatory role, consumer and industry education and dispute resolution.
Members of STAR, which include every major authorised ticket agent in the UK, agree and work to a strict Code of Practice.
The society has said that the UK’s live entertainment sector is the envy of the world with over one million tickets sold every week by STAR members alone.
Jonathan Brown, chief executive of STAR, said: “The ticketing industry has evolved enormously over the past twenty years, but the core values of what STAR was founded on remain unchanged. Customers deserve the very highest standards when it comes to purchasing tickets, and the work STAR has done, and continues to do, ensures that it’s members remain reputable and accountable for every transaction.”
To celebrate its birthday year, STAR has unveiled a new website, allowing customers faster and cleaner access to all the information and services STAR has to offer.
STAR has been providing a dispute resolution service for its members and their customers throughout the last twenty years. In May 2017, the organisation was recognised by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute as an official provider of Alternative Dispute Resolution, ensuring consumers have an opportunity to settle ticketing disputes with STAR members outside of the courts.
The society is also a voice for the ticketing industry in discussions with other sectors, law enforcement and government and hosts workshops and seminars on key topics. This has included consumer law, data protection, ticketing technology and cyber-crime.
STAR is also working with its members and other bodies such as Attitude is Everything to improve ticketing – including online purchases – for deaf and disabled ticket buyers.