Panthers fan warns of online counterfeit ticket sales - | WBTV Charlotte

Panthers fan warns of online counterfeit ticket sales

(Sarah-Blake Morgan | WBTV) (Sarah-Blake Morgan | WBTV)

Win or lose, game day at Bank of America Stadium is always an experience. That is, if you can get in. Nicole Gomez learned that the hard way after purchasing counterfeit tickets from someone she found on Craigslist.

"We were really really excited. It was the first home game of the season," Gomez said.

The online post advertised two seats at the Panthers home opener for 250 bucks. Gomez planned to surprise her boyfriend with the ultimate Panthers experience.

"The tickets were really good. We were in a really good area," she said.

Gomez said she emailed and texted back and forth with the seller and finally met up with a woman to get the tickets outside her gym in North Charlotte.

"I was like, 'okay, these seem legit,' and they looked and felt exactly like ticket master tickets feel," Gomez said.

On game day, with the tickets in hand, Gomez and her boyfriend made their way up to BofA Stadium. But soon realized they wouldn't get very far.

"We walked up to have the tickets scanned and we got a big red X," she said.

Gomez said her tickets were scanned by the Panthers ticket office and determined counterfeit.

"To be there with all of your gear on and to find out you're not really going to that game, it's really disheartening," she said.

After that game alone, three reports were filed with CMPD regarding fake tickets.

Looking back, Gomez admits there were signs she was being scammed. She says her seller would only accept cash and there weren't Panthers' players printed on the tickets, as you'll find on the real McCoys.

She says the seller also explained the name printed on the receipt was the PSL owner, which turned out to be false .

"It's really disappointing to know that people would actually take advantage of you as a person," Gomez said.

The worst part? That game has been the only Panthers win of the season so far.

"What goes around will definitely come around," she said.

CMPD offered a few tips to follow when purchasing Panthers tickets.

Things you can do to avoid being victimized:

  • The single most important thing is to buy tickets only from a reputable vendor.  Do not purchase tickets from someone you do not know or from an online source that is not validated by the Carolina Panthers or the NFL.
  • The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department does not recommend purchasing tickets from unknown individuals or other sources under any circumstances. 

If you still want to risk buying from someone you do not know, you can take these steps:

  • Ask the seller for identification and record his or her information.
  • Write down where the seller is standing and any direction of travel.
  • Write down a clothing description.
  • Take a photo of the seller with your cell phone.
  • Call the stadium ticket office to verify the serial numbers on the tickets before purchasing them. The Carolina Panthers Ticket Office phone number is 704-358-7800.

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