We’ve warned readers many times about the dangers of Craigslist or other online scams, especially in the weeks leading up to big events like the Super Bowl, but for one couple and their family, paying $5,900 for tickets to the game made it seem like a legit deal. Oh, but it wasn’t. And while their story has a happy ending (spoiler alert), there are many scamees who aren’t so lucky.
The Mercury News first reported the story earlier this week about a pair of Bay Area fans who love the San Francisco 49ers so much, they were willing to wire $5,900 to a purported Baltimore Ravens fan who couldn’t use his tickets to the Super Bowl, and had posted an ad on Craigslist.
Instead of receiving tickets, they got a FedEx package with a photo of Niners quarterback Colin Kaepernick and Ravens QB Joe Flacco and the message: “Enjoy the game!!!! Go Ravens!!! LOL.”
Similar messages were scattered all over the package. So not only did the scammer steal their money, they rubbed it in with extra salt in that wound.
“We pooled all our money together to do this so we can go, and then to get scammed like this, it’s just the worst feeling in the whole wide world,” said the woman. “The past 24 hours have been the worst, because we just trusted this guy and we thought it was going to be OK.”
While yes, it’s the couple’s fault for falling for such a scam, it’s still an awful thing to have happen. Which is why our hearts are fairly warmed to hear that not only did Ticketmaster CEO Nathan Hubbard call up the twosome to offer four free tickets, but the 49ers front office also offered up free seats as well. Oh and the couple gets to have breakfast with Troy Aikman.
“My heart literally was in my throat; it was fluttering — I was like, ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe this is happening.’ I can’t put into words how grateful I am,” the woman told the paper upon hearing the good news.
She’s still out the $5,900 her family forked over to the scammer, however, and has filed a police report to try and catch the perp.
Now is a good time to issue our oft-repeated reminder: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. The only guaranteed way to make sure your tickets to any event are the real deal is to go through the licensed and official ticket distributor for the event. Don’t wire money to anyone you don’t know, as well.