A new survey suggests that warnings over UK ticket scam websites could finally be starting to get through to ordinary consumers.

According to a YouGov poll carried out on behalf of VeriSign earlier this year, 11 percent of the 2,083 respondents said they had at some stage hesitated to buy tickets from websites that did not look legitimate.

In the previous 12 months, 46 percent of those asked had bought tickets online for one or more of a range of events, including music, sport and theatre.

VeriSign’s interest is in promoting its Extended Validation (EV) and SSL digital certificates, and sure enough 82 percent of respondents claimed to look for some form of validation on websites before they made purchases.

“Popular events are viewed by fraudsters as an easy way to dupe the public, through setting up fake ticketing sites which convince users to pay for tickets they’re not actually going to receive. Anyone selling genuine tickets should make sure their sites are authenticated to avoid losing potential buyers,” said Matthew Bruun, security expert at VeriSign Authentication.

The 11 percent figure sounds like a small minority but such numbers will still offer some encouragement that the mostly young audience for online tickets is becoming aware of the dangers that lurk only a web address away.

The unregulated market for online tickets is an easy scam to pull off and recent summers have seen a rash of bogus ticket sites springing up serving big events. Complaints have become louder but convictions have remained rare.  

The football World Cup in South Africa got off lightly after governing body FIFA warned about buying only from authorised sources.

One positive development happened two weeks ago when the recently set up National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) arrested four people connected to a sporting and music ticketing site, gigsport.com, after allegations that tickets were not being delivered as promised.

The bureau is able to collect data on reported scams centrally which allows it to track complaints far more quickly than in the past.