The 10News I-Team received tips regarding a man selling tickets online that turned out to be phony.
"I couldn't believe it. Our mouths dropped, and our hearts started pounding," said Elizabeth Beltran, who said she was ripped off by a scammer who was selling fake tickets on the popular website, www.craigslist.com
Joseph Dillan is also a victim. He and Beltran bought tickets for the Monster Truck Jam at Qualcomm Stadium. They said they went on Craiglist and found a man selling tickets.
"He used Mike Halle as his name," said Beltan. "Tall blonde, looked like a family man, and drove a blue car."
Victims said he sold tickets to concerts, Disneyland, Monster Jam, Legoland and other events throughout the area.
When ticket buyers arrived at the event they were turned away.
"As soon as I got there they said these tickets are no longer valid," said Dillan.
According to legitimate ticket brokers, producing and selling fake tickets is easy these days and something people need to be aware of especially if doing business online.
"It's easy because now tickets are electronic and come in a PDF format. If you're dealing with someone who doesn't care, he can reprint ticket over and over again," said Vince Campise, owner of Atlas Ticket Service. "The rule is first one in wins."
The Computer and Technology Crime Response Team (CATCH) said they see scams like this every day.
"Be familiar with what tickets look like and what reasonable price would be," said director and Deputy District Attorney Keith Burt. "Know about the seller. Try to have personal contact so you can verify person."
Burt said most people doing business online are reputable and honest, but you can never be too careful.
If you choose to buy tickets from an online source like Craigslist, he suggests asking to see the seller's identification card. He said it's not a bad idea to write down the seller's license plate either.
CATCH won't discuss details about ongoing cases, but said it is trying to track down the man who ripped off Beltran, Dillan, and other victims in San Diego County.
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