Men Charged With Selling Fake Tickets to Wizards Game

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Northern Virginia bureau chief Julie Carey reports on police busting scams over Wizards tickets.

    Wizards playoffs tickets are the hottest in town, but in Northern Virginia and D.C., some buyers have been burned by scalpers selling bogus tickets.

    In Fairfax County, three men are behind bars after they traveled to the area from New York to try to make money by scalping fake Wizards tickets.

    The investigation started Thursday after two different people bought playoffs tickets on Craigslist. One man got 2 tickets for $350, the other 4 for $650. When the buyers looked the tickets over, they realized they didn't have the real thing and called police.

    "Apparently it looked like a typo, something not quite right with the lettering," Lucy Caldwell with Fairfax County Police said. "Another one apparently checking with Ticketmaster realized they were not the correct number of digits."

    Fairfax County police then posed as buyers and set up their own ticket purchases through he same Craigslist ads. They met the bogus ticket sellers in several shopping center parking lots and placed all 3 under arrest.

    But the ticket scams aren't limited to Northern Virginia.

    A District of Columbia woman bought two tickets for Friday's game for $300. She also found her tickets through a Craigslist ad. Soonafter she had the tickets in hand she became suspicious.

    She did not want her name revealed but told News4, "I was a little surprised they were not the normal PDF version. They looked very real with perforated edges and identifying marking associated with Ticketmaster."

    She decided to do her own sleuthing and used a new dummy email address to contact the ticket seller again through Craigslist. Previously, she had purchased two of four available tickets in Section 112, Row G.

    "I asked if he had all 4 tickets available and he did and my heart sank. I asked him what seat number and he said 1, 2, 3 and 4. I'd just purchased seats 3 and 4," she explained.

    She realized the scammer was trying to resell the same fake tickets, and called police, who set up a sting. A 17-year-old was arrested, but her money was long gone.

    "He's already given his $300 off to someone else. It's a much larger conspiracy, it's not just this 17-year-old kid."

    She was even more troubled to check Craigslist Friday and find the same bogus tickets still up for sale.

    "The actual tickets he sold me are on Craigslist again right now... same section same row."

    Fairfax County Police suggest when buying tickets from scalpers, check the tickets over thoroughly before leaving your money behind. Other frequent Craigslist users caution buyers to beware of repeated ticket offers that seem to be similar.

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