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Protecting Music Festival-goers from Financial Fraud and Theft.

Andy Robertson

The dark world of financial fraud and linked criminal activity seems to be increasing around the world and financial institutions are doing their best to counter this increased activity. Criminals are always looking for vulnerable targets and the music festival sector is no exception to being targeted, what steps can festival-goers and organisers take to prevent financial theft.

Financial transactions for a music festival usually start with the purchase of tickets and organisers will usually offer buying options online. As event dates gets closer festival-goers may be obliged to upload funds to a digital wallet in the form of a wristband than can be used for on-site payment of goods and service. Many music festivals still provide ATM facilities and it is not unusual for cash to be a preferred method of payment on-site. 

Trusted Payment Methods. 
Festival organisers will use secure payment gateways to facilitate online transactions which generally are safe. However, fraudsters have been known to clone pages and send links directly to festival-goers so tickets buyers should always thoroughly check that they are using the correct links for payment. Almost all credit card and debit card transactions now require some form of two factor authorisation where a transaction is confirmed by an SMS message to the card holders' mobile phone. Festival-goers should be wary of using card transactions on-site, particularly if it involves QR codes which are a rising concern as it can be difficult to know who is being paid. If festival-goers are concerned about potential fraud or theft they should monitor activity on their bank or credit card accounts. 

Go Cashless. 
Many festivals are now moving over to cashless environments for their events which helps alleviate the need to carry large sums of paper money minimising petty theft on-site. The use of digital wallets and tap and pay is more convenient, faster and safer than handling cash in a hectic busy music festival atmosphere. 

Personal Data. 
Criminals are always on the lookout for opportunities to steal personal data as this enables them to access someone's bank account or credit card. A classic method used by criminals is to watch their victim use an ATM and note pin numbers used, they subsequently pickpocket the card used enabling them to successfully withdraw cash. Using an unsecured Wi-Fi network to make financial transactions on a festival site should be avoided as hackers can easily obtain card numbers, passwords and other financially sensitive data. 

Theft of Belongings. 
With huge numbers of people attending music festivals it is highly likely that a handful of people have criminal intent. Some will be petty thieves on the lookout for pick pocketing opportunities or searching for unsecure tents for example. They are looking for small valuable items like jewellery or electronic devices so festival-goers should remain vigilant and ensure such items are securely locked away. The more sophisticated financial criminal will more likely be looking for credit cards, debit cards, personal data and even unguarded wristbands. 

Report Theft Immediately. 
Whether it is a suspicious online ticket transaction or an on-site incident festival-goers should report occurrences to the organisers immediately. This ensures that remedial action can be taken quickly by the police, who are always in attendance at any sizeable festival. If there is suspected financial fraud or personal data theft festival-goers should also contact their bank and credit card companies so they can block any transactions in a timely manner. Staying vigilant and using trusted secure payments can ensure that festival-goers avoid financial fraud and theft of valuable belongings allowing them to fully enjoy the music festival experience. 

For festival organisers planning their events using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their event logistics. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The Festival Pro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features with specific modules for managing artists, contractors, venues/stages, vendors, volunteers, sponsors, guestlists, ticketing, cashless payments and contactless ordering.

Image by Tima Miroshnichenko via Pexels

Andy Robertson
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