Live music fans are being warned against buying tickets from rip-off websites following efforts by scalpers to move their operations online.

The showbusiness industry has revealed a surge in unauthorised websites which often display images of well-known stars to lure in consumers.

Live Performance Australia, the industry body, has accused sites of advertising tickets before they are made available to the public.

Fans have reported paying way over the odds for tickets which never materialise or turn out to be fakes.

“Unfortunately scalpers are now taking on the facade of legitimate businesses and hiding behind sophisticated websites to advertise tickets to shows that they have no authority to sell,” said Andrew Kay, president of Live Performance Australia.

“You need to make sure you buy from an authorised and reputable ticketing agent who has been appointed by the venue or the producer to market those tickets.”