With first match of this year’s European Football Championship tomorrow, police are launching a campaign to stamp out fraud associated with the event.
The month-long #RedCardtoCrime drive aims to tackle ticket fraud, counterfeit merchandise and antisocial behaviour with advice to the public ahead of and during the tournament.
Among the key focuses of the City of London Police-led campaign are online ticket scams and websites selling knock-off sportswear and other UEFA-related products.
As with any major sporting event marketers have produced a seemingly endless list of associated official merchandise. Everything from mugs and key rings to scarves and T-shirts is available with the tournament’s branding but this has opened the door to unscrupulous traders.
Since late 2013, the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit has taken down more than 10,000 sites selling counterfeit goods. Fake footwear and clothing are by far the most counterfeited products being sold to unsuspecting shoppers.
Ticket fraud is also a major concern around any big sporting event and those looking to bag a last-minute brief to one of the games in France are being urged to be cautious.
Action Fraud, the national fraud and cyber crime reporting centre, has warned that most online sources offering tickets at this late stage are likely to be fraudulent and says it has already received 35 reports of scams related to the tournament.
A spokesperson for UEFA added: “UEFA would like to emphasize that secondary market ticket resale is strongly condemned by UEFA and we are working with lawyers and authorities to minimize its scale.
“We are constantly monitoring unauthorised resale channels and UEFA has been very active in trying to take down sites.
“We very much appreciate the efforts of the City of London Police and we will continue to work together for the benefit of the fans unaware of risks associated with the secondary market ticket resale.”
More information and advice can be found at the RedCardtoCrime website