How to outsmart ticket fraudsters

How to outsmart ticket fraudsters

While forgers and fraudsters have always been with us, today’s ticket fraudsters have found that working with digital channels and social media has transformed their ‘cottage industry’ into a major global business. In 2023 alone, it was reported ticket and Facebook marketplace scams have cost Australians a whopping $36m over 2023 by exploiting the “fear of missing out” phenomenon. (

It’s a particularly upsetting experience for the victims; often the event they hoped to attend is personally very important to them. It’s bad enough to lose the money, but for some it’s also a once-in-a-lifetime experience they’ve been cheated out of.

The police, event organisers and reputable ticket agents are naturally working to put the scammers out of business, but the scale of the problem is immense. Where one dodgy ticketing website is shut down or a secondary vendor convicted, it seems there’s an endless supply of others to take their place. There’s nothing so secure as a printed ticket.

Organisations such as Action Fraud are engaged in educating would-be ticket buyers in how scams work, plus who and what to be wary of. But there’s a great deal that can be done to thwart ticket fraud in one crucial area: the use of printed tickets. The latest print tech and security features can make life very difficult for forgers and duplicators.

In contrast, a ‘ticket’ that’s simply printed off at home by the recipient or held on their mobile is extremely insecure and open to fraud.

More secure in any event

Theatres, football clubs, music venues, attractions, festivals, race meetings – whatever the nature of the ticketed event, a well-designed and expertly printed ticket goes a long way to protecting both the buyer and the organiser.

  • Thermal tickets allow a range of hard-to-crack security measures to be included on every ticket.
  • Secure and personalised holograms really do stump the fraudsters – they have to be replicated from a master, and most criminals don’t have the means to do this.
  • UV security paper can hide text so it’s only visible under ‘black light’ – so equipping door personnel with a black light source is an easy and affordable security measure.
  • Unique barcodes are also an economic way to check tickets’ validity.
  • Controlled watermarked papers make tickets uniquely hard to fake.
  • High security inks add a further line of defence against the scammers.
  • Complex verifiable numbering matrices prove a ticket’s validity beyond doubt.
  • Complex security designs will be incredibly hard to reproduce, and attempts at duplication become far more obvious.

Have ticket scammers met their match?

The one positive aspect of ticket fraud becoming ever-more widespread is the fact that more consumers are learning about it and getting wise to how the scams work. Combine this growing awareness with intelligently printed tickets, and perhaps the tide will turn against the fraudsters.

If you’d like to learn more about how to make your tickets as secure as possible, get in touch today.