New Orleans Saints fans warned to be wary of ticket scams
Posted on Jan 21, 2010 in Local Issues, Sports
By Michelle Hunter, The Times-Picayune
January 20, 2010, 6:35PM
Authorities are warning New Orleans Saints fans to be wary of scam artists after a Metairie woman was duped out of her money while trying to buy playoff tickets on the Web site Craigslist.org
The 26-year-old woman, who asked not to be identified by The Times-Picayune, was trying to buy tickets for Saturday’s matchup between the Saints and the Arizona Cardinals at the Superdome. But instead of watching the Saints 45-14 victory, she missed the game and lost $189.95, according to a Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office incident report.
The woman made arrangements to buy the tickets on Jan. 11 after finding an ad offering them on Craigslist.org. She sent the money, half of the purchase price, to a Derrick Breeding of Lake Charles and was supposed to pay the other half after she received the tickets, the incident report said.
The tickets never arrived, and Breeding never responded to any follow-up e-mails. So the woman created a new e-mail address and posed as a new buyer. Breeding responded, saying the tickets were still for sale, the report said.
mike_stanfield_cropped.JPG’People are so emotional about this team, and it breaks my heart when a fan gets ripped off like this,’ said Mike Stanfield, vice president of ticket and suite sales for the New Orleans Saints.
Saints fans have complained about this and a number of other scams all season, said Mike Stanfield, vice president of ticket and suite sales for the Saints.
“It’s just a shame that people prey on what’s going on right now,” he said. “People are so emotional about this team, and it breaks my heart when a fan gets ripped off like this.”
Craigslist.org offers a bit of advice on avoiding scams. The Web site suggests consumers deal only with people who can be met in person and warns never to wire money.
Sheriff’s Office Spokesman Col. John Fortunato said there have been no arrests in the case, Authorities expect there will be more victims as Sunday’s NFC Division Championship game against the Minnesota Vikings approaches. He urged fans to be careful when buying tickets from secondary markets.
“You really have to make certain you’re not purchasing a bogus ticket,” he said.
Fortunato suggested sticking with guaranteed vendors such as Ticketmaster.com or the National Football League’s ticket exchange Web site.
“It’s the only safe and secure secondary market,” Stanfield said
Michelle Hunter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 504.883.7054.