For the first time in football history, four English clubs are finalists in European competitions – the Champions League and Europa League – and naturally, fans will want to see their teams do everything they can to taste continental glory.
As football fans scramble for a chance to see their beloved teams in action, ticket scammers will exploit the vulnerability of travelling supporters who will do anything they can to get their hands on a precious match ticket.
Fans will be tempted to purchase match tickets from overpriced third-party sources and re-sale outlets, though UEFA have already warned that such tickets will be invalid and carriers will not be permitted entry to the stadium.
Here are some safety measures you can take to ensure that you aren't scammed into buying a fraudulent match ticket. You can also read our full guide on how to purchase UCL tickets here.
Buy from Official & Trusted Sources
UCL and UEL final tickets can only be bought from official channels through UEFA, or directly from the Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal or Chelsea websites club websites. Neutral fans wishing to attend the 2019 UCL final in Madrid had to apply directly to UEFA for tickets via the organisation's official ticket portal, with the deadline having closed on March 21.
The UEFA ticket portal was designed to provide the general public with 4,000 tickets distributed by a ballot, all of which have been sold out.
UCL finalists Liverpool and Tottenham will be allocated just 16,613 tickets each at the Wanda Metropolitano, despite the ground boasting a capacity of 63,500, so obtaining a ticket through official club channels is already a difficult task.
Liverpool fans have a series of windows to register and apply for tickets from the club's allocation from May 14 until May 18, depending on their status and eligibility. Fans who have attended seven Champions League games this season will be guaranteed a ticket for the final, followed by a ballot for season ticket holders and other club members based on how many games they have attended.
Tottenham have not released their ticket details yet, but are likely to follow in the footsteps of Liverpool and allocate match tickets based on certain criteria.
UEFA have released 6,000 tickets for each of Arsenal and Chelsea for their final in Baku, with official ticket details available on each of their club channels. Both clubs' request to be supplied with more match tickets at Baku Olympic Stadium to meet the demand of their fanbase was denied by UEFA.
All other websites advertising the sale of UCL and UEL tickets, therefore, are scammers and not a legitimate source.
Scammers will also take advantage of fans by advertising match tickets for extortionate prices. Some re-sale websites have priced their UCL final tickets for a mind-boggling fee upwards of £10,000 to £20,000 each.
Fans must beware of these sites as they are exponentially more costly than the most expensive face-value ticket sold by Liverpool – £513 – and supporters may not even be guaranteed entry to the stadium as it was purchased from a third-party source.
Consider Your Payment Method
Official UEFA, Liverpool and Tottenham channels will provide security for payment transactions. Fans will be asked to provide payment through the official websites only, and other forms of payment – such as wiring through Western Union or MoneyGram bank transfers – are fraudulent.
Wiring money is only safe when it is to someone you trust, and it is a different scenario to wire money to a complete stranger.
If you think that you have successfully bought a match ticket through the official club channels but are asked to provide details for a wire transfer or a bank transfer on an external website, it is a scam.
Bank transfers are popular with scammers as the cash goes directly into their account, and the seller can disappear forever. By the time you realise something has gone wrong, or that you weren't promised the ticket you had paid for, it will be too late.
Is It Too Good to be True?
Even if you've ignored our advice that official match tickets will only be sold through official UEFA and club channels after coming across an offer for a cheap ticket, think again.
UEFA, Liverpool and Tottenham have their ticket pricing information on their website, so if you come across a ticket being sold for anything less than the price listed, it is a scam. Chances are if you think it's too good to be true, then it probably is.
Scammers lure people in with a promise of heavily discounted prices on the backs of popular events, such as the UCL and UEL final. Don't fall for it.
If you see someone advertising 50 tickets for the coveted UCL or UEL final for cheap, ask yourself – how could someone have that many tickets for such a huge sporting event? This is where alarm bells in your head show go off, especially if the ticket is being advertised for much cheaper than retail value.
You should also question tickets that are being sold at too much of a reasonable price. If you challenge the seller and they can't give you a reason as to why they are selling such sought-after tickets for cheap, turn around. You need to ensure the legitimacy of the tickets before you make any kind of payment. Again, if it is not being sold through the official UEFA or club channels, they are scams.
If you've heeded our advice and know to only buy a ticket through the official channels, make sure that you're also actually on the legitimate website and not on a mirror, or a fake website posing as the real one.
Be certain that you're on the actual, legitimate website of UEFA, Liverpool or Tottenham before proceeding with any transaction. Fake websites could pose as the official channels with the same layout, site navigation and design, but you must always make sure that the web address is the right one before going any further.
Always double-check that it is always uefa.com, liverpoolfc.com, tottenhamhotspur.com, arsenal.com or chelseafc.com before proceeding. Any variations of the web URL, even by a rogue character or letter, mean that they are a fake website, leading you to fall for a scam.
You can also check that the padlock symbol in the web address is legitimate. If the symbol is not there when you're about to make a payment, do not continue or enter any of your personal details.