Warning over theatre ticket scam

Theatre goers are being urged to be extra vigilant after several reports of people who have bought tickets from a seller and never received them.

Tuesday, 17th May 2016, 12:58 pm
Updated Tuesday, 17th May 2016, 2:01 pm

Action Fraud UK say that the fraudster had been offering discounted tickets for West End shows through a Facebook page claiming to operate as a charity called “Shooting Star Theatre”.

The Facebook page, which has over 1.7k likes, was offering tickets to Matilda, Lion King, Aladdin and many more, but has been now closed down by the fraudster.

Victims have reported paying for the tickets using PayPal and direct bank transfer, with losses ranging between £40 -£240.

So far 43 reports to Action Fraud have been assessed and analysed by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) and have been sent to the police for further investigation.

What to do if you’ve been affected:

If you have fallen victim, it is important that you report it to Action Fraud. This will allow police to gain a better understanding of the scale of the fraud and will help build an investigation. Everyone that reports to Action Fraud will receive a Police Crime Reference Number (NFRC) and an update in writing 28 working days later.

If you have paid the suspect via PayPal you should try and request a refund. Remember to give PayPal your Police Crime Reference Number (NFRC) from Action Fraud. They can be contacted on 0800 358 7911.

If you have paid the fraudster via bank transfer, notify your bank immediately. They can try and recover the funds, but remember this might not always be possible. This guide from Which? explains how to get your money back after a scam.

Online ticket fraud rose by 55% in 2015, costing the UK public £5.2 million. Recent findings show that 21% of crimes relating to ticket fraud were instigated via Facebook and 6% on Twitter. Follow this advice when buying tickets online to avoid being scammed.

To report a fraud and receive a police crime reference number, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online fraud reporting tool.