A family from Prenton Gardens, England, was “absolutely devastated” to find out that tickets it had purchased for a One Direction concert on Saturday were fake.

Kristy Speakman of Norcross paid roughly $353 for tickets to the show for three of her six children, Katie, 11, Harry, 8, and Amber, 7, intending for them to be a Christmas gift. But the tickets, which she purchased on eBay, never arrived, she told the Blackpool Gazette.

“They’re absolutely devastated,” Speakman said of her three children. “They can’t believe it, because they thought we were going to see One Direction, and we’ve actually been conned by somebody horrible.”

Not only can Speakman and her children no longer attend the concert, but she is also now battling with eBay to get a refund on her money.

“It’s obvious it’s for children, because it’s a One Direction concert, so she’s preyed on the fact it’s children’s Christmas presents,” Speakman said of the woman who sold her the tickets. “If it was for a Rihanna concert, you’d know it was for grown-ups, but apparently it’s been quite common for con artists to do this for One Direction tickets.

“We’ve been playing their CDs for four months in the car, and their friends are all going to the concert. It’s just been a nightmare, and it’s absolutely awful,” she added. “We won’t be using it in future for this kind of thing. We’ve sold stuff on eBay before with no trouble, but obviously it takes another person to abide by the rules.”

An eBay spokesperson who spoke to the publication said, “We were sorry to hear of the problem Ms. Speakman has experienced and will investigate further. Thousands of successful sales are finalized each day, and, on the rare occasion that a problem does occur, eBay has established channels in place to help, including a dedicated customer service team and eBay Buyer Protection program.”

While frequent concert attendees know that buying concert tickets secondhand through any online site like eBay or Craigslist carries a greater risk than buying them directly, experts say there are many tips to prevent getting scammed. An eBay guide titled “Are those concert tickets real or fake?” encourages eBay users to not only check the rating of the seller they’re buying from, but also how long the seller has had an account.

“Some sellers have excellent ratings but have been members for only months,” the guide explains. “A lot of them build feedback by selling passwords and other low-priced items, then they list a big-ticket item and take the money. Make sure the seller has received good feedback for other high-ticket items.”

Another review urges buyers to confirm that the ticket is in the seller’s possession at the time of the transaction to ensure that it will be shipped promptly; check seating information for the venue and confirm that it matches up with the seating on the ticket; and never purchase a ticket with a bar code displayed in the photo, because the code can easily be stolen.