From the 2024 Olympics to the Euros, watch out for these ticket scams for summer events

Illustration of a hand holding a phone with a QR code that says 'Scam!' above it, with the Olympics logo in the background
May 30, 2024
5 min read

With edge-of-your-seat sporting events across Europe fast approaching – including the Olympics in Paris, the Euros in Germany, and Wimbledon in the UK – 2024 truly is a summer for sports fans.

This does, however, mean that it’s also prime time for scammers to take advantage of people desperate for tickets to these events, as Ash Shatrieh, Threat Intelligence Researcher at F-Secure, explains:

"Scammers often target events that are in high demand and have limited supply. They know people let their guards down and are more inclined to take risks when they’re struggling to obtain something they really want."

Purchasing your tickets

F-Secure market research in 2023 found that concert and event tickets are a top ten lure for shopping scams, with 10% of victims reporting it happening via ticket sales. Be mindful that some larger events, including the Paris 2024 Olympics, will sell tickets through their own website. However, smaller events may use third-party providers to sell tickets.

According to Shatrieh: "Some events have different buying processes than others – some sell official tickets through a dedicated website, while others use several vendors. You should always check the official website for the event to confirm which ticket vendors they are partnered with. This will ensure you’re buying your tickets from a legitimate source."

New anti-touting measures

"New anti-touting measures introduced by Ticketmaster for the most popular concerts, including Taylor Swift and Olivia Rodrigo, follow a different process," explains Shatrieh. "To be granted access to the ticket sale, a person must pre-register by a certain date and Ticketmaster notifies the user if they have been successful, along with an access code for the upcoming sale."

"This may help anti-touting, but scammers can capitalize on those not given an access code or who have missed the registration deadline. It could even create new scams such as selling access to presale approved accounts. What’s more, access to the sale doesn’t guarantee a ticket as the demand still outweighs the supply – such events are more likely to attract scammers as they know they’re sought after."

Check reselling terms and conditions

If unsuccessful in an original ticket sale, desperate fans often look to purchase by other means – usually from another person, resale platform, or even in person.

"When buying online, always use a platform that offers protection in the event of tickets not being received," says Shatrieh. "Twickets is a dedicated ticket resale platform that offers buyer protection if the tickets that they receive are not as described. The platform also only allows tickets to be resold at face value to discourage touts and keep costs down for fans."

"Ticketmaster also has its own resale platform where fans can be sure tickets are genuine as they are transferred from one account to another via the Ticketmaster app. Fans are also locked into reselling tickets at face value, although Twickets does add an admin fee."

Reselling rules may vary by event

It’s important to note that resale terms for pre-registered events differ. For example, the Taylor Swift Eras Tour FAQs page states: 'Ticketholders are able to resell their tickets via the official resale facilities provided by the official ticket agents, being Ticketmaster and AXS in the UK.'

The wording here is unclear as it says "are able to" rather than 'must' – so does that mean purchasing tickets via other resale platforms, such as Twickets, is allowed? This is something fans should contact Ticketmaster to clarify before making a purchase.

Shatrieh adds: "The Eras Tour also required the lead booker to be present at the event and show identification. However, this rule has now been scrapped as, in the case of parents who bought tickets for teens to attend alone, this posed a dilemma."

Use in-app ticket transfer

"When possible, request that the person selling you tickets transfers them via the app (such as Ticketmaster) rather than sending a PDF attached to an email," suggests Shatrieh.

"The digital transfer option in apps is designed to prevent someone selling the same ticket to multiple people. This isn’t possible for all events, however, but Twickets conducts manual checks on all tickets resold via their platform, so this offers some additional protection."

Beware of giveaways and competitions

"There’s nothing better than winning tickets to a sold-out event – but be sure to check that any competitions you enter are legitimate as fraudulent accounts may harvest your personal information to use for identity theft," explains Shatrieh.

"Some competitions may even ask for you to pay a small fee to enter, which is a red flag. Competitions hosted by radio stations, magazines, and large brands tend to be legitimate, but be sure to check that the account is the company that it’s meant to be as scammers sometimes impersonate legitimate companies on social media for such purposes."

"If you’re unsure whether a competition is legitimate, contact the event organizer on social media and ask them if they have partnered with the account for the competition," Shatrieh concludes.