CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Carolina Panthers fans know a good thing when they see it. The team is undefeated and fans want to see the games in person. But Charlotte Mecklenburg police are warning people to be careful when buying tickets.
"Their success coupled with some of the prime time games we're seeing - I think that generates a lot more interest in people," said Major Johnny Jennings. "It also comes with the opportunity for people to prey on the fans with counterfeit tickets and try to make a quick dollar illegally off people."
Major Jennings said, "We have seen more and more coming up with the success of the Panthers. It goes with any event - whether it's a concert, Charlotte Hornets."
Police are telling fans to buy tickets from a reputable dealer. Investigators are urging people not to buy tickets from a person you don't know.
They say if you do buy from a stranger, ask for identification. Write down person's name and address. And, get a description of the seller's clothing.
You should also write down the location where you bought the ticket, take a cell phone picture of the person who sold ticket, and call the ticket office to verify the serial number.
"We recently got information of a young lady that purchased $700 worth of tickets and found out they were counterfeits when she checked them with the box office here at the stadium," Major Jennings said. "If she would have checked before she made the purchase she would have known they were counterfeits, and not be out her money as well."
Police say most unsuspecting fans don't realize they've been duped until the last minute when they get to the turnstile where counterfeits are detected by the bar code.
Investigators say rarely do they catch the scammers.
"A lot of time someone will sell a counterfeit ticket or they'll sell what they have," Jennings said. "They can make a great deal of money in a short period of time then they're gone. We're unable to locate them."