Don’t let scammers kick goals in the lead up to the 2014 FIFA World Cup

12 March 2014

SCAMwatch and FIFA are warning soccer fans seeking to buy tickets to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil to beware of websites selling fake tickets.

Fans wishing to purchase tickets should be aware that:

  • Official and guaranteed tickets can only be bought via www.FIFA.com – no other websites or parties are authorised to sell tickets.
  • There are no legitimate tickets being sold as part of a travel package, as no official tour operator has been authorised by FIFA.
  • Tickets purchased from unauthorised sources may be counterfeit or invalid, or may not be received at all. They are also likely to be more expensive than legitimate tickets.

If you have purchased a ticket online and already received it, chances are it’s a fake ticket as FIFA will not be issuing printed tickets before April 2014. Check the legitimacy of any source of tickets by contacting MATCH, the official agent appointed by FIFA to sell and distribute tickets, at enforcement@match-ag.com.

Soccer fans, stay on the ball - if you come across a website selling ‘tickets’ to the event, or a travel package that includes a ‘guaranteed’ place, don’t be fooled – the only way to get a ticket to the 2014 FIFA World Cup is by purchasing it via www.FIFA.com.

How the scam works

  • You come across a website selling guaranteed 2014 FIFA World Cup tickets or ticket-inclusive travel packages.
  • The website appears legitimate and professional. It may use the official “2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil” logo and trademarks (or their look-alikes) to lure you in to thinking the site is official and that it’s an authorised seller. It may also offer tickets and packages to other sporting events and concerts.
  • In order to purchase the tickets or ticket-inclusive travel packages, you will need to pay a substantial price; for some ticket-inclusive packages, the asking price may be as much as $30,000 per person. 
  • These websites do not have legitimate tickets to distribute. If you buy a ticket outside the official FIFA website, you may receive invalid tickets or you may not receive tickets at all. You could find yourself on arrival at the World Cup in Brazil unable to gain entry to watch the game.

Protect yourself

  • Only buy tickets from a legitimate source – official and guaranteed tickets can only be bought via www.FIFA.com.
  • Think twice before you buy – get across the details on how to buy an official ticket on the FIFA website.  Search online to find out what other people’s experiences have been. If you have any doubts about the legitimacy of any tickets being sold, contact FIFA.
  • Be wary of travel packages that ‘guarantee’ tickets – no official tour operator has been authorised by FIFA to sell packages with tickets.
  • If you are promised printed tickets before April 2014, walk away – genuine tickets to the FIFA World Cup are not printed before this date.
  • Remember – these days, it’s easy for a scammer to create a professional looking website and to use official logos and trademarks (or their look-a-likes).
  • If you think you have provided your account details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately.

Report

You can report scams to the ACCC via the report a scam page on SCAMwatch.

You can also report suspicious sellers to MATCH by email at enforcement@match-ag.com.

More information

FIFA has issued a media release about unauthorised ticket sales:

FIFA has also released a video about purchasing tickets to the 2014 FIFA World Cup that explains how to avoid buying fake tickets:

SCAMwatch has previously issued a radar in the lead up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup:

Stay one step ahead of scammers, follow @SCAMwatch_gov on Twitter or visit http://twitter.com/SCAMwatch_gov.

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