Thursday, March 24, 2016

Craigslist Scam

We have heard about craigslist scams, and even other worse things occurring from use the free site but you never think it's going to happen to you.  Well actually I worried it might, but the man not so much....until it did!

After over a decade of buying tickets for sporting events on craigslist we got scammed on Sunday.  The man decided rather last minute that we should go to Brooklyn to see Villanova take on Iowa at the NCAA tournament.  Being we are only a hour and half from the center it did seem to make sense, but only if we could get reasonable seats. 

Though I have to admit I'm usually excited about such stuff but this time I felt on the fence.  Wasn't sure we should be spending the money given all that is on our plate right now. And after not feeling good for two weeks wasn't sure about all the traveling.  But the man's excitement to go was contagious.

So after contacting a few people on craigslist about seats he started trying to negotiate prices with a few via email late Saturday night.  And left it that he would contact them the next day, if their tickets were still available we would go.  It's funny as I usually don't ask too much when it comes to purchasing tickets but did ask him a few times who he was corresponding with, and kept asking him if he had checked stubhub too.  It was almost as if my intuition was kicking in.

Sunday morning he finalized a ticket deal with one of those people, agreeing to meet in Manhattan to pick up the tickets.  The guy gave him his cell phone, they texted back and forth a few times.  We drove out of our way to meet this dude in Manhattan, as Brooklyn is actually closer to us. They meet in front of Urban Outfitters on 6th street and exchanged the tickets.  The guy even showed his receipt for the tickets.

Once the man got in the car though, and we saw the tickets something just didn't seem right.  They looked different in some way and felt light for a ticket.  The man shrugged off my concerns by saying he saw the guys receipt for the tickets.  Though he did say the guy was suspect looking compared to some he's bought tickets off of in past.

We made it to Brooklyn by 11:40am, had little less than a mile walk from parking lot to the Brooklyn center. It happened to be a cold, windy walk as snow showers were actually in the forecast.m As we stood in line waiting to get in a weird thing happened, the tear off edge of one of the tickets dropped to ground.  Which was weird, as I mentioned the tickets seem very thin and flimsy.  Sure enough when they were scanned an X showed up on the screen.  They informed us we needed to go over to the box office.  Of course we already knew what the box office was going to say....our tickets were bogus and we had been scammed!

Unbelievable is about all I could muster. Followed by some choice words for the guy who choose to take our hard earned money and scam us.  Dude if you ever happen to come across this post, which  you probably won't but if you do....karma is a bitch! 

The man was completely shocked and think embarrassed. I felt bad for him as he was so excited for the game and for that to happen just sucked.  He didn't want anyone to know that he had been scammed. We looked for a police officer but could not find even one as we figured it might be good to get their perspective on what to do next, such as maybe file a police report.  Finding none, and given the game was about to start we located a Buffalo Wild Wings across the street to watch the game.

We were pissed, stressed and feeling upset over losing $250.  The day had been ruined not to mention watching the game didn't even feel the same.  We ate some wings, watched the game and made our way back to Philly. What a long day is was.

Later that evening I happened to be googling people getting scammed on craigslist and found an article written earlier that day by the New York Daily news, the article went on to say how a man had been scammed on Thursday out of NCAA tickets from a man he met on craigslist also!  Here is the actual article NCCA Scam.  The local 19th police district even issued a statement through twitter warning people not to buy NCAA tournament tickets online.  If only we had seen that before our fiasco. 

So contacted the reporter who wrote the article, and within a hour heard back from the newspaper.  They said our situation sounded identical to the one on Thursday.  The reporter and I talked a little on the phone, sent them photos of our voided fake tickets and the cell number of the guy who sold them to us. They suggested we file a police report too.  But the man wanted to pretend like it never happened, he didn't want his name in the paper least his friends or the scammer see it. He pretty much gave up on the idea of filing a police report saying it's highly unlikely it will do any good and we won't get our money back either way. Even though the reporters didn't want to give up.

Interesting as that's one of the ways in which the man and I differ.  He is so laid back when it comes to things, I on the other hand am much more gung ho.  I wanted to do everything possible to catch the thief and scammer. Was all ready to go all soprano or even sons of anarchy on him, still am.  Not the man, he didn't want to deal with any of it.

To think people can scam others of their hard earned money, not only get away with it but than they are actually able to live with themselves afterwards is insane.  Talk about true sociopaths without any conscious. I'm not content to just sit back and let those kind of people take advantage of others. 

While they probably will have a very difficult time tracking this guy down it's worth a try.  And lesson learned while craigslist started off as a great place to find things such as tickets these days it has seemed to turn into more of a shady site for scammers and criminals looking to prey on people.

Though I did read some helpful tips to purchase legit tickets on craigslist is to one have an idea of what the real tickets to the event looks like, two tell the ticket holder you want to see their drivers license first to get their full information incase needed for the police and three always meet in front of a police station. 

Hoping this will bring awareness of some sort, and maybe even help prevent what happened to us from happening to others.  Try to be safe people, and if something doesn't feel right it probably isn't. 

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