While the event industry and government focus on touting, an issue often overlooked is the increasing problem of ticket fraud. This can be in many forms - ticket duplication, false tickets or just taking money from people without fulfilling a ticket. Reports suggest ticket fraud is increasing. It's a double edged problem - tickets are particularly vulnerable to fraud and fans can be desperate to buy tickets to sold out events. Physical tickets, print at home tickets and e-tickets are all easily abused.
Social media has been cited as a reason for an increasing amount of ticket fraud taking place online. From our research, we see secondary activity on Facebook event pages and many people trying to buy and sell when an event or gig has sold out. This event page discussion for The xx in Cardiff is a prime example. While many are recommending exchanging tickets for cash in person, there are a handful of posts asking for payment online.
The story of 375 fake Bestival tickets being sold is one serious example. The unlucky ticket buyers turned up to the event and were denied entry. Figures released in 2016 from London Police’s National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) and Get Safe Online showed a 55% rise in ticket fraud during 2015, costing consumers £5.2m and increasing from £3.35m in 2014.
So what can be done? The current method of ticketing is open to abuse. It's purpose, as a license to gain entry to an event, is open to attack. We're researching innovations that enhance security for both events and their customers. Can anything ever be totally secure?
We're inviting event organisers, promoters, venues and independents to sell tickets on Tikk - a new ticketing platform aiming to put a stop to fraud. If you currently run events, or plan to in the future, sign-up for exclusive early access.