Some fans upset about bogus Panthers tickets - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Some fans upset about bogus Panthers tickets

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Some people who paid hundreds of dollars to see the Panthers in the playoffs say they found out their tickets were fake.

Several victims reported their problems to the police, who said it's hard to catch these guys because many of them are from out of state. 

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police said they did arrest one person Sunday. And they're looking for the people who ripped off other Panthers fans.
Two-year-old Thaigo is one of those fans.

"He's been to the Panthers' stadium before, to the Panthers game and he loves the Panthers. As little as he is he loves it," said Thaigo's mom Christina Chalco.

Thaigo loves them so much he couldn't be quiet for our interview.

"Let's go Panthers," he shouted in the background as his mother tried to quiet him down.

For the Panthers trip to the playoffs, Thaigo's dad thought they had tickets.

"We called her and she mentioned she had four tickets for six hundred dollars," said Chalco, "She could work it out for five hundred dollars but it would have to be four tickets."

Christina Chalco arranged everything through her phone with a woman she met on Craigslist. Chalco said she was instructed to buy a prepaid card from a gas station.

"I said wait how can you just not take the money from the card. And then she said, ‘No, you need the receipt information to transfer it to my account.' And then I said okay, gave her the card number so she can check the balance," said Chalco.

Chalco said the woman called her back and said pick up the tickets at Will Call.

"She never called back. My husband was at the stadium with his friend and the kids and she disconnected her number right then immediately," said Chalco.

Thaigo's dad and friend were out $500 for four fakes. And the Panthers lost.

"Uh, it was a complete loss," said Chalco.

It was a complete loss for other fans too. Joe Yelle of Myrtle Beach said he never even saw the game on TV or at Bank of America even though they drove all the way to Charlotte.

"We looked at the tickets checked out the email link from ticketmaster and we looked at that everything looked legit but as soon as we got to the stadium tried to go in it was an invalid ticket," said Yelle.

Yelle said together with three friends they paid $800 in cash for fakes.  They found their seller through Craigslist and picked up the tickets in person.  The seller gave them hardcopy Ticketmaster tickets and a receipt. They still have the worthless tickets and couldn't find place to watch their Panthers.

"Every sports bar was filled to capacity. We couldn't get in so basically I missed the whole game," said Yelle.

Police said individual detectives will reach out to victims if they find the scammers. 

They also said this isn't an issue just for Panthers fans.  Any fan could be taken, even people seeing Disney on Ice.  Police recommend before you buy, check with the box office if the ticket is real-- by phone or by having one person stay with the seller and another running over to the box office to scan the ticket.

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