One in ten web users have been the victim of - or know someone who's been fooled by - a fake concert tickets scam, says GetSafeOnline.
Research by the organisation, which aims to advise web users on staying safe online, revealed that 52 percent of music fans prefer to use ticketing websites to get seats to concerts rather than direct from the organiser, while 38 percent of music fans turn to the web to get their hands on tickets to gigs that sell out within hours. Furthermore, the National Fraud Authority estimates £168m is lost every year through sales of fake tickets, with around a quarter of victims losing between £100 and £200 each.
GetSafeOnline says scammers are going to increasing efforts to con web users out of their hard-earned cash by selling tickets that never materialise. The organisation warned Brits that while websites may look genuine and may even appear high in search rankings, they can still be scams.
Web users should also be wary when it comes music-orientated forums and social network, as 'posts' from fans claiming to have bought tickets from a site may in fact be from cybercriminals hoping to drive traffic to their hoax sites.
Tony Neate, managing director of GetSafeOnline.org, said: "Criminals used to have only one opportunity to sell fake tickets: on the day of the event. Now they have access to a huge number of potential victims over a period of months in the run up to the event. Intelligence from law enforcement and industry indicates that as many as half of the websites that sell tickets for summer festivals are bogus.
"It's critical that consumers are on their guard when purchasing tickets. We are urging internet users to check with the event organisers for a list of legitimate ticket-selling websites before parting with their money online."
Neate urged web users to only use authorised ticket sellers to obtain seats to concerts and to report any instances of fraud to Action Fraud.