Niagara Gazette

Columns

February 2, 2014

GLYNN: Fan outsmarts young scalper at Super Bowl

Niagara Gazette — Imagine going to the Super Bowl without a ticket and ending up in a choice seat — at no cost — only because you managed to scare the would-be scalper. 

That’s exactly what happened some years ago when a fan from Niagara Falls had his heart set on attending the game. Standing outside the sold-out stadium that day, the local resident soon spotted the brisk action between buyers and sellers. As always, there was a heavy presence of the plainclothes security force but that virtually no impact on the swift trading.

One young scalper in particular seemed nervous about the hectic pace, perhaps because he was a novice at the underhanded business.

That’s when the guy from the Falls — a bartender from a popular restaurant — confronted the scalper with an ID card bearing a striking resemblance to a sheriff’s badge. The story goes the scalper broke out in a sweat, sure that he had been busted, He started pleading his weak and defenseless case to the scruffy ‘undercover deputy.’ Armed with only the fake ID, the impersonator took the young man aside, read him the riot act and assured him that no charges would be pressed if he simply surrendered the ticket.

The scalper, of course, was elated to be off the hook (that he was never really on). And the guy with the fake ID? He got to see all the action for free.

A related note on scams, the New York Post reported Friday that federal agencies had seized phony sports merchandise valued at more than $21.6 million. Some $360,000 worth of those items came from the New York area within the past 60 days. Police also arrested two men who allegedly who produced phony Super Bowl tickets sold on line and then shipped by FedEx. A word to the wise: no matter how authentic the tickets look, they won’t get you into the stadium.

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