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Beat the Scammers: 4 Tips to Dodge Online Ticket Fraudsters

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There is no doubt that South Africans are excited to head back to stadiums to watch sports and their favorite musicians. This excitement is evident in the almost immediate sell-out of the Springboks versus Ireland test matches and the return of international music acts like James Blunt, Take That, Green Day, and The Offspring.

online purchasing scams and tips

There’s often a lot of excitement that comes with booking for a live event and this can lead to consumers being a little more relaxed about their online safety.

To secure a seat at these thrilling events, South Africans have turned to online ticket purchases. However, as with any digital interaction, cyber risks such as phishing, malware, and fake websites expose consumers.

But how safe is online shopping?  especially now that buying tickets online is often the only way we can make sure we secure our seat to these festivities.

Emmanuel Tzingakis, Technical Lead: Sub-Saharan Africa at Trend Micro, emphasizes the importance of online safety, especially when booking for major concerts or sports matches.

 Top tips on how to spot a scam and stay safe

1. Buy from a reputable ticket seller

Ensure you purchase tickets from the approved and official ticket seller for the event to avoid ticket fraud.

A select number of websites in South Africa, commonly used by large sporting events and concerts, have the right security measures in place to handle these transactions safely. This includes secure payment portals, ensuring cybercriminals cannot access your information and credit card details.

2. Double-check the website address

Scammers can easily recreate fake websites around an event to lure unsuspecting victims into handing over their hard-earned money and private information.

Before entering any personal or financial details, verify that the website. A secure website will have a URL that starts with “https://” and a padlock to the left of the site address. This indicates that the website encrypts the data that you send and receive and makes it harder for hackers to intercept or steal this information. If these features are missing or your browser warns you that the website is not secure, do not continue with the transaction and leave the site.

3. Be wary of phishing emails and SMSs

Cybercriminals will often pose as legitimate organizations such as banks, delivery services or ticket sellers using fraudulent emails, SMSs or WhatsApp. These phishing scams will then try to encourage the user to click on a malicious link, which can either open an infected attachment, or send them to a website to hand over sensitive information like passwords, or credit card details.

Avoid clicking on links in suspicious messages from unknown senders and be cautious of emails or texts urging urgent action.

4. Use a strong password and activate 2FA

Create a strong password containing a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols, and consider activating two-factor authentication for added security. If you receive a one-time pin that you haven’t requested, you can alert the website and change your password to prevent them from signing in.


Always stay vigilant to avoid falling victim to online ticket fraud or phishing scams, especially as live events resume. With basic digital hygiene habits and cybersecurity awareness, consumers can protect themselves from cyber threats and enjoy online ticket purchases safely.

By Emmanuel Tzingakis, Technical Lead: Sub-Saharan Africa at Trend Micro.

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