NBA Finals Caveat Emptor

Sports fans, beware! You may love this game, but someone out there will be more than happy to steal your lunch money for showing the love

Brian sends in a letter about how a little sleuthing saved him from getting scammed for Dallas Mavericks NBA Finals tickets.

His note reminds us that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Also, that Google and WHOIS are the cat’s tits. For those of you who don’t know, doing a WHOIS search can show you who a domain is registered to (as long as its not privately registered). By entering in the registrant’s info into Google, you might catch a glimpse if they’re illegitimate or not.

But enough HOWTO talk, let’s hear about Brian foiling the scammer, after the jump…

Mr. Brian writes:

    “I’m a huge Dallas Mavericks fan. With the NBA Finals coming to town this week, I’d pay almost anything for tickets. However, I’m also spoiled as I have regular access to really good seats during the regular season. So basically if my only option is to sit in the upper, upper deck I’d rather stay home and watch the game in 50” of HD glory.

    So off to Craigslist I go in search of tickets at non-scalper prices. I find the following listing:

    4 Mavericks vs. Heat Tickets, NBA Finals Game 1 – $1000
    Reply to:
    Date: 2006-06-05, 8:53AM CDT

    I need to sell right away 4 tickets to the Mavs vs Heat game 1 of the NBA Finals on June 8 at the American Airlines Center. The tickets are in section 105, row D, on the free throw line and I am selling for 250$ each for a total of 1000$.

    Great seats at a great price (too good to be true actually, since regular season tickets for those seats run just over $200 a pop). I e-mail the contact…tickets are still available…score! I decide to check out the site for the shipping company the “seller” wants to use since I’m unfamiliar with them. Apparently TNT is sort of the FedEx of the UK…looks good, but something’s not quite right about the site (one being that the URL is not UK-based).

    A quick whois search shows the domain is registered to an individual in Maryland with an e-mail address similar, but slightly different from, the Yahoo address I received a response from. A Google search turns up a message board posting from a guy who’d been scammed (almost) for concert tickets by the same people. They weren’t even clever enough to change their pitch…same story about how they bought the tickets for a US-based client in anticipation of closing a deal that never came to fruition. For that story check out . It’s worth a quick read.

    [ed. He’s right, it is. One person played along and gave the scammer the scammer’s fake address he had used in the registration info. After the fraudster discovered it, he wrote, “Now I realized what you have done… You wasted my time…Thanks for nothing… Can’t a guy make a living here without everyone being a critic????]

    So, sports fans, beware! You may love this game, but someone out there will be more than happy to steal your lunch money for showing the love.”

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