Hamilton Ticket Scams Began Opening Night

CHICAGO (CBS) — Hamilton The Musical, the hottest ticket in town, opened Tuesday night in Chicago and theatre fans are already getting ripped off.

Heather Gagliano and her 14-year-old daughter Grace has plans Tuesday to see Hamilton on opening night.

“My daughter’s a huge fan,” said Gagliano. “She knows all of the songs. It was going to be an amazing experience for us to go.”

But when they arrived at the theater, an usher gave them a note and turned them away, CBS 2’s Jim Williams reports.

The note read, “It has been determined that the ticket you have been presented for entry is not valid.”

Earlier in the day, Heather and Grace met a young man at the Bronzeville Starbucks to purchase tickets from a Craiglist posting.

The Craiglist ad read, ‘Hamilton Tickets For Sale.’ The seller went by the name of Alex and claimed his sister had to go to New York. He went on in the posting saying, ‘Make me an offer.’

Gagliano paid the man $350 for the two tickets.

Steve Bernas of the Better Business Bureau said unfortunately things like this happen all the time.

“Deal with licensed ticket brokers only,” Bernas said. “Because they are licensed by the state of Illinois and they actually have to follow rules and regulations.”

Gigliano filed a police report. Starbucks is working with police providing surveillance video of the seller.

Gigliano said she was suspicious when she first looked at the tickets, but bought them anyways, praying they were legit.

“It was a rough night,” Gigliano said. “I really wanted to give her that experience. I was not able to. It was really tough.”

Bernas warns with today’s high-tech printers, con artists can make fake tickets look real. He predicts a rash of scams with the Hamilton show and the Cubs post-season games.

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