‘The moment I realised I’d been conned on Facebook by an expert fraudster’

More than four billion people use the internet in this day and age and of that, at least three billion are on social media.

So it may come as no surprise to hear that opportunistic scammers are using these channels to target innocent people out of their hard-earned money.

This is exactly what happened to Jessica Goode from London, who was left out of pocket after buying tickets from what she believed to be a trusted seller on Facebook.

In a desperate bid to secure her entry to sold-out music festival, Elrow Town, she went on the social media website in search of any spare tickets.

"​I started following the event page on Facebook and saw that people were selling tickets for various reasons – unable to attend/work commitments etc.," the 32-year-old explained.

She then found a seller – and got in touch with a few questions.

The Facebook user, she told Mirror Money, provided proof of purchase along with PDFs for the tickets – "it seemed entirely legitimate," she said.

In fact, he repeatedly told her he was "worried" she'd stop responding after sending her the ticket images.

"I looked at the PDF in detail, analysing the barcode and making sure that all the details married up to the actual event. The seller even provided proof of purchase (an invoice) – I had every reason to believe the tickets were real," Jessica said.

Satisfied, she decided to transfer the money – a total of £140 – straight to the buyer.

However, that's when things spiralled.

The seller blocked Jessica on Facebook, which raised her suspicions.

"A few days after transferring the money to him, someone on the Facebook page named him as a scammer," she said.

"I went onto Facebook messenger (where we had communicated previously) and that's when I realised he'd blocked me.

"I called the event organiser and they confirmed the tickets were once valid, but had been cancelled two days prior to me buying them off him. Thankfully I found out before turning up to the festival."

As a result, Jessica was left out of pocket and unable to attend the event she'd purchased tickets for – and she says she's learned her lesson.

"This has been a learning curve for me and I’ll now only buy tickets from a website that is official and that I know and trust.

"What’s worse is that ​after I mentioned his name on the Facebook group, many others came out to say that the exact same thing had happened to them.

"It’s extremely frustrating but I would have been even angrier if I turned up to the festival and got turned away.     

"During the initial conversations with him on Facebook Messenger, he manipulated me and lured me into a false sense of security by saying he was worried I'd disappear and not pay after receiving the tickets via email," she said.

"It's so frustrating that 'small time' scammers seem to get away with it with no fallout."

According to Barclays Bank, 20% of 18-34 year olds have fallen victim to a ticket scam – costing them £179 on average.

Here's how the lender says you can protect yourself online.

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