‘Swifties’ in England lost over $1 million buying fake tickets for The Eras Tour

According to Lloyds Bank, the average amount each victim lost trying to attend the music event starring Taylor Swift was 332 pounds ($413).

Beware of scams! Lloyds Bank issued an alert to all Taylor Swift fans on Wednesday. The British bank estimated that fans of the American singer in England lost approximately 1 million pounds ($1.25 million) buying fake tickets for the concerts that the artist has scheduled soon in the United Kingdom as part of The Eras Tour.

As the bank discovered, more than 600 of its clients reported that they had been involved in this ticket fraud scam. It ended with each victim losing a average amount of 332 pounds ($413) in trying to attend the event although, in some cases, the number skyrocketed and people spent over 1,000 pounds for one of the tickets that have been sold out for months.

Lloyds Bank estimates that there could be close to 3,000 victims who have fallen for this scam since the tickets went on sale, estimated at over $1 million in value.

Facebook Marketplace: The site of most scams

As revealed by Deadline, the vast majority of these scams originated on Facebook Marketplace. Dozens of unofficial groups began to appear there with the intention of buying and selling tickets to Taylor Swift concerts. Lloyds reported that more than 90% of the reported cases were on the platform. The bank warns that scams will increase as the concert dates approach:

With all U.K. dates now sold out, many more fans are likely to fall victim to ticket scams in the coming weeks and months, both leading up to the tour and once the concerts begin in June.

Taylor Swift's tour isn't the only case in which scammers took advantage of victims' enthusiasm for attending concerts. As revealed by the bank, the number of reported cases related to fake tickets for musical shows doubled last summer compared to the same period the previous year, with an increase of 158%. Among the artists whose shows have seen the most scam attempts are Coldplay, Harry Styles and Beyoncé.

Mechanisms to avoid scams when buying tickets to see Taylor Swift

How then can music fans avoid these scams? According to the bank, first of all, never give a bank account number and always pay by credit or debit card. They also recommend that you only purchase from promoters (like Live Nation) or an official agent (like Ticketmaster) to ensure the authenticity of the tickets. Otherwise, Lloyds Bank recommends that, in the United Kingdom, fans only buy from retailers that have the STAR logo (and that recognize them as members of the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers).

This advice was provided by Liz Ziegler, director of fraud prevention at Lloyds Bank, in statements collected by the BBC. She gave some basic recommendations for “Swifties” to avoid being scammed:

Cruel fraudsters have wasted no time in targeting her most loyal fans as they rush to pick up tickets for her must-see concerts. It's easy to let our emotions get the better of us when we find out our favourite artist is going to be performing live, but it's important not to let those feelings cloud our judgement when trying to get hold of tickets. Buying directly from reputable, authorised platforms is the only way to guarantee you're paying for a genuine ticket. Even then, always pay by debit or credit card for the greatest protection. If you're being asked to pay by bank transfer, particularly from a seller you've found on social media, that should immediately set alarm bells ringing.