Nick Smith MP has warned people to be vigilant on the eve of the Rugby World Cup for ticket fraud as he continues to campaign for a fair secondary ticket market.
The Blaenau Gwent MP was part of a delegation to meet Business, Innovation and Skills Minister Nick Boles as reports continue to flood in about sky-high ticket prices and fans being swindled by fake or non-existent tickets.
With a prominent website still running despite its phone line being suspended by the police, Mr Smith said it was important rugby fans used official channels wherever possible to avoid disappointment.
The getsporting.com website is still currently on the first page of Google, with tickets for all matches of the RWC being available.
But the national fraud intelligence bureau has suspended the website’s phone line and was assessing the website as of the end of August, with the City of London police confirming it had also referred the matter to a local police force for possible investigation.
Speaking as the rugby celebrations are set to get underway, Mr Smith said to ensure you are protected you should use the RWC’s official ticket resale service at https://tickets.rugbyworldcup.com/
“Most games still have seats available on the resale site but people might think they have no option but to look elsewhere”, he said.
“We campaigned hard for legislation earlier this year that would protect ordinary fans from rip-offs and fraud online, with several protections being brought in so buyers have more peace of mind.
“But sites are still selling tickets for all sorts of events with incomplete information, tickets for rows and blocks that don’t even exist or at its most simple tickets that aren’t even owned by the seller at all.
“We are in real danger of the UK becoming the ticket fraud capital of the world”.
“I’ll be continuing to work with colleagues to fight against the internet spivs. Until then, make sure whenever possible to go to the official site.”
Reg Walker, the Operations Director at ticket security firm Iridium, said practices such as “speculative ticketing” where touts sell tickets they don’t own in the hope of buying them at a later date were hurting ordinary fans.
He confirmed his team dealt with 3,600 people who had presented invalid and counterfeit tickets for shows at the 02 in 2013.
“This country has a fantastic reputation for events, it’s a real jewel in the crown, but that reputation is being tarnished,” he said.
For more information, visit http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/rugby-world-cup-2015-tickets-10072914