Tuesday 9 April 2013, 10:48 | By Chris Cooke
Viagogo publishes ticket fraud report
A new report from secondary ticketing website Viagogo, with the only slightly emotive title Scam Nation 2013, reckons that up to 4.7 million people paid for non-existent tickets last year, of which about a quarter probably never got their money back. That, the report reckons, could amount to up to £50 million in money lost to fraudsters, though, Viagogo’s paper adds, only 4% of those affected likely reported the fraud to police.
The new report, based on a survey of 2000 live entertainment consumers and some estimates about average ticket prices, echoes that issued by the London Metropolitan Police in February which also raised concerns about the growth in ticket fraud in the internet age, where it’s easier than ever for fraudsters to trick fans desperate for tickets for in-demand events out of their money even when there is no assurance the ticket being sold exists. The London Met had a slightly more conservative estimate of the value of the ticket fraud market, though still reckoned the figure could be as high as £40 million.
Of course in the live entertainment industry, secondary ticketing – the resale of actual tickets for sizable profits – has been the controversy that has demanded most attention in recent years. And while online ticket touting, and the companies that profit from it, remains a touchy topic, Viagogo, as one of those companies, clearly hopes that with this report it can redirect attention to the actual criminal side of unofficial ticket selling. Sites like the one it operates, Viagogo will point out, offer a guarantee to buyers that tickets being resold at a mark up exist.
Of the 4.7 million tickets fraudulently sold in 2012, Viagogo says music events accounted for the highest number, followed by comedy, theatre, football and rugby in that order. The report also reckons in the region of 240,000 fake tickets for Olympic events were sold.
Commenting on the report, Viagogo’s Ed Parkinson told CMU: “The results of Viagogo’s Scam Nation 2013 Report are shocking, with almost five million failing to receive the tickets they paid for last year – that’s the equivalent of the combined populations of Birmingham and Manchester. Worryingly, the report shows the amount fraudsters are making has increased by 67% in the last twelve months alone. It’s not just money that the public lose when targeted by scams, they also miss out on the event itself”.
Concluding with a plug for his company’s service, Parkinson continued: “Viagogo was founded on the principle of consumer protection – we exist to eradicate ticket fraud. With online scams on the increase, we urge people to be vigilant when buying tickets. Never buy from a site that doesn’t offer a 100% guarantee that you’ll get the tickets you paid for, in time for the event”.
So there you go. And here are the most scammed events of the last year according to Viagogo’s research…
1. Coldplay – Mylo Xyloto Tour
2. Rolling Stones – 50th Anniversary Tour
3. One Direction – Take Me Home Tour
4. V Festival 2012
5. Jay Z and Kanye West – Watch The Throne Tour
6. Bruce Springsteen UK Tour
7. Stone Roses – Reunion Tour
8. Madonna – MDNA Tour
9. Michael McIntyre – Showtime! Tour
10. One Man Two Guvnors