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Bears’ Success Breeding More Ticket Scams

Bridget Murphy purchased these tickets for Sunday's game between the Bears and Vikings for $800, only to learn at the gate that they were fake. (Supplied to CBS)

Bridget Murphy purchased these tickets for Sunday’s game between the Bears and Vikings for $800, only to learn at the gate that they were fake. (Supplied to CBS)

Brad Edwards Brad Edwards
Brad Edwards is a general assignment reporter for CBS 2 Chicago. He...
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CHICAGO (CBS) – Roughed up, but back to their winning ways, the Bears are the big ticket in town. However, with the success comes more trouble.

CBS 2’s Brad Edwards reports crooks have been looking to cash in on the Bears’ success, with a growing number of bogus tickets.

The Bears mauled the Vikings 28-10 on Sunday.

Bridget Murphy had tickets to the big game, but found out at the gate that they were counterfeits.

“I handed them to the lady, and she just looked at them and said, ‘I’ve never seen anything like these,’ scanned it a couple times, and was like, ‘I’m sorry, these are fake,’ and obviously disappointment came upon us,” Murphy said.

She’d bought the four tickets for Sunday’s game through Craigslist for $800.

“These are tickets that I purchased, number one, for my boyfriend for his birthday, and then we actually brought some friends of ours, and it was a wedding gift,” Murphy said.

Cook County Sheriff’s Police Special Operations Unit Cmdr. Michael Anton said, “There’s a lot more [fake tickets] out there than people think.”

Just two weeks ago Anton’s undercover team busted William Howard, a 44-time arrestee who was trying to sell bogus Bears tickets.

Anton had some advice to Bears fans buying from Craigslist or other similar sites.

“If people are going to go on Craigslist and purchase tickets, first of all, if the person needs to sell them, try to do it at the box office,” he said. “If you do it right at the box office, you can show the person the tickets; they can tell you right away if they’re legit.”

He also suggested taking a picture of the person selling the tickets.

“If the person’s legit, I don’t think they’ll have a problem doing that,” he said.

Murphy said she’d heard stories about people being scammed into buying fake tickets, “but I always thought I’ll be a little bit more smarter than the average bear.”

Like honey to a hungry bear, tickets are a sweet commodity this season.

A Bears vice president said the demand is high when the team is winning, like it is this season. The Bears said the only trusted ticket buying sites are Ticketmaster and NFL Ticket Exchange.