Niagara Gazette

Columns

February 17, 2013

GLYNN: Scam artist leaves fans holding the bag

Niagara Gazette — If you’re a sports fan looking forward to that next Buffalo Sabres game, you need to be extra careful where you buy tickets.

In case you haven’t heard, the scam artists are at work again, as evidenced by the ripoff from a guy who reportedly told a buyer he could pick up the four tickets Thursday at the will-call window at the First Niagara Center. They were to be left under the name of “Presley Elvis,” which should have raised eyebrows before the buyer handed over more than $150.

According to a WIVB report Saturday, at least four groups of fans fell for the scheme that was initially advertised on Craigslist. Obviously it’s a reminder how risky it is to purchase tickets from perfect strangers.

No doubt the scalpers (scam artists as well) will be out in full force on April, 2, when the Toronto Blue Jays host the Cleveland Indians in the already sold-out home opener at Rogers Centre (the former SkyDome). “The single-game tickets that went on sale to the general public Friday were gone within minutes,” said Stephen Brooks, the Jays’ senior vice president.

A club spokesman confirmed that some 2,500 tickets for the opener had been sold on Stubhub, a re-sale site. The cheapest seats ($14) were selling for $57 with the most expensive going for $1,620. The Blue Jays dislike the idea of fans paying such inflated prices but, as one official said, “it’s the unfortunate reality of the ticket world.” That’ s a comforting thought, eh?

For the record, interest in the Jays soared this year in the wake of strong trades that General Manager Alex Anthopoulos pulled off.  Signs are that the total attendance in 2013 could reach the three million mark, matching the fan base in the early 1990s when the Jays won back-to-back World Series.

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