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Punters are being warned that buying tickets from illegitimate online sources will cost them almost 70 per cent more than buying pukka tickets.

Tickets for entertainment events cost 112 per cent more if bought through a dodgy website. Sporting tickets cost 73 per cent more and concert tickets cost an average 63 per cent more. Overall, tickets from illegitimate websites cost 69 per cent more than tickets from official sources.

Group 4, which carried out the research between 4 and 20 April, estimates the UK black market to be worth £54m with sales of more than 2.23m tickets per year.

Researchers found tickets for sale which had not yet been released by official sources. Group 4 believes concert organisers should check photo IDs and payment details to ensure tickets are bought legitimately.

Group 4 found a pair of U2 tickets for sale for £872 - a mark-up of 445 per cent. For those keener on cricket, a pair of tickets to the first day of the Ashes is available for £450 - 463 per cent more than face value. ®

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