2 Investigators: Sheriff’s Police Bust Counterfeit-Ticket Sellers
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(CBS) – It’s happening more and more for both concerts and sporting events: People are buying counterfeit tickets.
2 Investigator Pam Zekman rode along with authorities as they busted up one of the fake-ticket rings.
She also talked with victim Kathleen Peters, who with her son bought four tickets to a Paul McCartney concert off of Craigslist for $700.
The ad seemed convincing.
“He said his brother was getting married in Miami, and he had to get rid of the tickets, and it sounded very legitimate,” Peters says.
Peters’ son later checked with the United Center and was told the tickets were counterfeit.
“My stomach sank – I was furious,” his mother says.
“You don’t like to see people get scammed, it’s horrendous when you go to an event and you’re bringing your family there, and all of a sudden you can’t get in because you were scammed,” says Cook County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Chief Michael Anton.
CBS 2 told the department about the ads on Craiglist, and they contacted the same seller to set up a sting.
Zekman went along for the bust, when they arrested a juvenile suspect for selling two fake tickets.
“Even though they’re selling tickets, these people have pretty extensive criminal backgrounds and they are for violence,” Anton says.
Rodney Pole — who had a previous felony conviction for unlawful use of a weapon — was also charged for selling bogus tickets.
It’s a lot easier now for fraudsters to create fake tickets.
“Printing is so sophisticated today it’s almost impossible to look at a ticket and, just by looking at it, tell if its real or not,” Julia Vander Ploeg of Ticketmaster says.
While they may look real, the fake ones won’t scan at the ticket gate, leaving fans like Peters frustrated.
“It’s just so unfair. People work hard and these guys take their money for nothing,” she says.
Cook County Sheriff’s police say there are several rings out there selling fake tickets, and they are trying to identify who is printing the tickets and running the operations.
The only way to make sure you have a real ticket is to buy it directly from the event ticket seller or a known re-sale vendor that guarantees its authenticity