04 Jun 2024

Cruel summer: swifties and euros top targets as ticket scams ramp up during festival season

  • Over 1 in 3 young people affected by fake ticket scams or know someone who has been conned
  • Taylor Swift and Euros have accounted for nearly 4 in 10 fake ticket purchases
  • Consumers lose nearly £400 (avg loss £394) according to Nationwide data
  • Around a third of event ticket scams originate on social media
  • Nationwide provides tips for fans while its Scam Checker Service offers protection on purchases

Music and sports fans could be in for a cruel summer as the threat of ticket scams rises, with Taylor Swift and the Euros the biggest targets.

More than one in three (37%) people aged 16-34 have bought an event ticket which turned out to be fake or know someone who has been targeted, research1 from Nationwide shows.

Britain’s biggest building society’s own data shows purchase scams are up 33% on 22/23 to 23/34 prompting the poll to highlight how more traditional scams continue to have an impact. Nationwide offers a Scam Checker Service that is designed to protect customers when making a purchase (see below).

The poll of 2,000 respondents from across the UK highlights the events which were most prone to scams:

  • Taylor Swift Eras Tour: 20%
  • Euros: 18%
  • Wimbledon: 15%
  • Glastonbury: 15%
  • Olympics: 15%
  • Ed Sheeran Tour: 14%


A further 33 per cent of people reported being scammed for other events, or knowing someone else who was targeted.

More than a quarter (28%) of ticket scams originate on social media, according to the research, with Facebook Marketplace accounting for 26 per cent. This is followed by personal email (22%), eBay (17%), illegitimate websites (12%), Vinted (12%), Reddit (10%) and Depop (9%).

Sadly, close to half (48 per cent) say it is inevitable that they will at some point become the victim of a fraud or scam. However, the same percentage worry that they wouldn’t know if they were targeted by a scam. A fact backed up by Nationwide’s own data which shows (for the first five months of the year) purchase scams made up 51 per cent of all scams.

It is perhaps why two thirds (66%) never give their card details over the phone, text or email unless they trust someone. The good news is that some 63 per cent will call their bank or building society if suspicious.


Jim Winters, Nationwide’s Director of Economic Crime, said: “We want everyone to enjoy their summer, which is why we want to remind anyone going to a festival or event to double check that what they are buying is the real deal. Taking time out might seem like going to the back of the queue but if you see an offer that is too good to be true, it probably is. It is why we offer a Scam Checker Service that protects purchases, as customers can check in with us before they check out. And if we give the go ahead for a payment and a scam takes place, we will fully refund the amount lost.”

Nationwide’s Scam Checker Service means customers can come into their local branch and speak directly to the team or phone a free 24/7 hotline (0800 030 40 57) to check payments they’re worried about with specially trained expert staff.

Top tips for keeping safe when purchasing event tickets:

  • Use official websites. It’s always best to book through official sellers that are members of the self-regulatory body of the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (STAR).
  • Check for any subtle changes to the website URLs of any genuine organisations. Criminals create fake websites to advertise fake tickets. Always look for a padlock symbol in the address bar.
  • Check with the event organiser, promoter or venue how tickets are being sold and distributed.
  • Check the event website to confirm if tickets can be resold.
  • Beware adverts or individuals selling tickets for events that have sold out or haven’t officially gone on sale.
  • Wherever possible, pay through the website using your debit or credit card as they offer more protection. Don’t pay by bank transfer.
  • Be suspicious of tickets offered on social media or if you’re contacted by text, email or direct message.
  • Please also find information here: Ticket Fraud | Take Five to Stop Fraud (takefive-stopfraud.org.uk)

Notes to editors

Notes to Editors:


1 The research for Nationwide was carried out online by Censuswide throughout 23.05.2024 - 24.05.2024 amongst a panel resulting in 2,000 nationally representative UK respondents. All research conducted adheres to the MRS Codes of Conduct (2010) in the UK and ICC/ESOMAR World Research Guidelines. Censuswide abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles.