2014-12-17 / Scam Watch

Ohioans Lose Hundreds to Sugar Bowl Ticket Scams

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today warned consumers to be skeptical of individuals offering tickets to the 2015 Sugar Bowl, after two Ohioans reported losing $800 each to Sugar Bowl ticket scams on Craigslist.

“For every scam that gets reported there are probably 10 or more that don’t, so we want consumers to be very careful,” Attorney General DeWine said. “If someone says you have to wire money to buy tickets, it’s likely a scam.”

In the past year, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office has learned of at least nine consumers who have lost hundreds of dollars to online ticket scams involving sporting events and concerts. The most recent cases involve the upcoming Sugar Bowl, in which Ohio State will face Alabama.

In one case, a Franklin County consumer found an ad on Craigslist for six lower-level tickets to the Sugar Bowl for $800. The seller claimed to be a service member and showed the consumer a military ID. Even though the consumer took efforts to confirm that the ID was legitimate before sending the seller money, he fell victim to a theft. It turned out that  the “seller” had stolen the identity of a military member and used it as part of the ticket scam.

A  Fayette County consumer had a similar experience after exchanging multiple text messages with a seller who claimed to be a military service member with Sugar Bowl tickets to sell. The seller provided a picture of the tickets, a copy of a military ID, and a photo of himself. The consumer sent $400 but never received the tickets.

The Fayette County consumer was victimized a second time when the consumer sent an additional $400 to a Craigslist ticket seller who claimed to be from Youngstown. The consumer agreed to pay for Sugar Bowl tickets using a prepaid reloadable card, and in turn, the seller promised to mail the tickets. Although the consumer provided the money, the seller never sent the tickets.

To avoid scams, consumers should look for red flags, such as:

   An online seller who draws attention to his or her military status
   Requests for payment via wire transfer or money transfer
   Requests for payment using a prepaid money card
   Prices that are too-good-to be true (such as Sugar Bowl 2015 tickets for less than $100 or $200 each)

Ohioans can report suspicious Craigslist ads to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office directly from Craigslist at https://www.craigslist.org/about/scams. They also can report potential scams by calling the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at 800-282-0515 or visiting www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov. -Posted 12.22, 10:30 am


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