Nearly five million people a year pay for tickets to concerts, sporting events and theme parks that prove to be fakes.
US Postal Inspectors uncovered a scheme using popular websites, such as Craigslist, where scammers would post fake advertisements online.
Once you paid for the tickets, you were given a confirmation and tracking number, but both were useless.
Mounting complaints about the fake tickets led postal inspectors to the home of two suspects, James Williams and Anthony Johnson, who were allegedly destroying evidence.
"We found shredded pieces of paper all around the room. He attempted to take his computer, pour water on it and throw it out the back window," said inspector Keegan Martin.
It was too late for the bad guys, but you can avoid a similar scam by using well-known sites, like Stubhub or Ticketmaster. Prices may be a little higher than Craigslist or Ebay, but tickets are authentic and guaranteed.
And before you click "Buy" on a vendor's website, type the site into a search engine and see what results come up. That could lead you to complaints from past customers who were ripped off.
"It would have saved a lot of victims time by just doing a quick Google search to see if the company even existed," Martin said.
He also suggests buying tickets with a credit card or Paypal account. They offer more protections against unfair or unauthorized charges than do debt card transactions.
Copyright 2014 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Thursday, March 27 2014 8:56 PM EDT2014-03-28 00:56:41 GMT
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