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It seems that the world has gone football crazy now that the World Cup is underway in South Africa, vuvuzelas and all. But with ticket sales not having been as successful as expected, and reports of rafts of empty seats which FIFA won't sell tickets to South Africans for, overseas the thought of buying cheap last minute cup tickets could be tempting.

However, new research from YouGov which has been commissioned by VeriSign reveals that caution should be used when going online to buy them. Apparently some 46 percent of the UK population online has flocked to the web to purchase tickets for sporting, musical and other cultural events. Unsurprisingly, ticketing websites are appearing all the time to meet this demand, yet not all are what they seem with illegitimate sites on the rise.

The research suggests that some 11 percent of British web users have admitted to not going through with an event ticket purchase due to their suspicions over the legitimacy of the ticketing website. VeriSign is advising users to be prudent and to thoroughly vet ticketing websites before making a purchase, particularly in the light of that spike in demand for last-minute World Cup tickets that is expected if England makes it through its group matches next week.

Cyber criminals take advantage of passionate fans who will do anything to see their favourite teams, players and acts – potentially letting their usual security checks slip – meaning that the cost to the nation’s pockets through fake ticketing websites could be deep.

Tim Callan, Vice President of Product Marketing, SSL at VeriSign, comments: “Popular events such as the World Cup, Wimbledon and Glastonbury are seen as a cash cow for fraudsters, with cyber criminals setting up fake ticketing sites which convince users to pay for tickets they’re never going to receive. Criminals capitalise on the high demand for tickets to such events with sites that look authentic, using sophisticated techniques to target loyal fans. Demand for tickets to high profile events is obviously high and anyone offering them genuinely will be confident of selling them without needing to rely on discounting or special offers. If a site is offering an unfeasibly low price, it’s well worth questioning why".

Other results of the survey included:

  • Residents of Northern Ireland and London online are most likely to buy event tickets over the internet, with 52 percent using the web to purchase a ticket to a sporting, music or cultural event over the past year
  • 18 to 34 year olds are the savviest age group when it comes to booking tickets for their favourite events online, with 60 percent claiming to have bought a ticket on the web in the past year
  • Web users aged over 55 and those based in Wales are least likely to buy tickets online, with only 31 percent and 39 percent respectively having made a purchase in the past year

Edited by newsguy: n/a

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