49ers Fan Falls for Ravens Fan's Super Bowl Ticket Scam - Tarnished Twenty
Tarnished Twenty- The FindLaw Sports Law Blog

49ers Fan Falls for Ravens Fan's Super Bowl Ticket Scam

A Super Bowl ticket scam cost a San Francisco 49ers fan almost $6,000. Quoth the Ravens fan apparently behind the scam: "LOL."

You never know when it may be the last time your team makes it to the big game. As a result, some diehard fans of the 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens are willing to fork over thousands of dollars for Super Bowl tickets, and are turning to websites like Craigslist to buy them.

While Craigslist makes it easy for those looking for an apartment or a used bicycle, there are risks when it comes to cross-country transactions involving large sums of money.

Niners fan Sharon Osgood learned this the hard way.

Osgood, of Hayward, California, believed she'd found a Ravens season-ticket holder on Craigslist and arranged to wire over $5,900 for four tickets to the Super Bowl, the San Jose Mercury News reports.

But when the package arrived in the mail, Osgood opened it up to find a picture of QBs Joe Flacco and Colin Kaepernick with a caption reading: "Enjoy the game!!!! Go Ravens!!! LOL," according to the Mercury News.

It would have been less cruel if the scammer had simply sent back nothing.

If you take a look at any Craigslist ad, you will see the automated disclaimer on the bottom to avoid scams and "not wire funds." Osgood was aware of this, but believed she was in touch with a reputable seller.

She said she spoke with the purported seller for a week by telephone and had a good sense of him and his situation: He said he was a lawyer, but had to miss the game due to his pregnant wife, Osgood told the Mercury News. So Osgood wired the money.

But before you get too sad for this 49ers fan, you should know there is a silver lining to her story. Ticketmaster offered the woman four tickets to the Super Bowl. The 49ers also gave her an additional ticket. So she ended up with five tickets.

Unfortunately, most victims of Craigslist scams are not so lucky. So keep these tips in mind the next time you see an ad for game tickets:

  • If it's too good to be true, it probably is. It may sound like a lot, but $5,900 for four Super Bowl tickets is a relative bargain.
  • Heed Craigslist's warning. Don't wire money or send cash if you are not meeting the seller in person.
  • Enjoy the viewing experience at home. Save money and experience much more of the game at home. The best seat at any live sporting event is your couch.

To learn more about protecting yourself online, check out FindLaw's section on Online Scams and download our free Guide to Online Fraud and Identity Theft.

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