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ASTA Backs Fake Tickets Warning Campaign

LONDON (VIP NEWS) — The Association of Secondary Ticket Agents (ASTA) has given its backing to the U.K. Office of Fair Trading's (OFT) "Just Tick It" initiative on fraudulent ticketing Web sites.

The new OFT campaign warns consumers about such sites and offers advice on how to check whether they are legitimate.

According to an online survey of 3,000 U.K. consumers, one in 12 ticket buyers said they have been caught out by scam ticket sites, and 80% of those were in the past year.

Consumers are being offered guidance by the "Just Tick It" campaign, with six checks for a Web site offering tickets including determining their refund policy, how you can contact the company and other users' verdicts on the service.

The Web site outlines full guidance for consumers.

Graham Burns, chairman of ASTA, welcomed the campaign and said in a statement that "we hope the Office of Fair Trading's new Web site gives the consumer more tools to use in the fight against rogue Web sites. It is heartening to see that the OFT has grasped the nettle and is prepared to work alongside other agencies, including ASTA, to eradicate the crooks."

ASTA was formed in 2005 in a response to the proliferation of rogue sites that failed to deliver tickets.

U.K. pop act Kate Nash has also welcomed the campaign. "I think it's disgusting, scamming people who want to go to gigs and have a good time," she said in a statement. "They just get ripped off and disappointed, turning something positive into something negative. People should check that the Web site selling the tickets is legitimate before they buy their tickets."

However, the campaign has not won universal backing in the secondary sector. Secondary ticket service viagogo is not a member of ASTA and CEO Eric Baker described the OFT's campaign as "nothing new to secondary ticketing."

"In fact, for the last three years at viagogo we have been advising fans on how to avoid getting ripped off in the secondary market by offering a safe and secure ticket exchange," he said in a statement.

He estimated that in the past two years concert and festival goers in the U.K. have been defrauded out of £15 million ($25 million) by fraudulent merchants selling fake tickets. –According to Billboard