A Medford man who fell victim to a Craigslist scam involving tickets to the BCS National Championship in Arizona on Jan. 10 sent $907.50 through MoneyGram to Florida and has nothing to show for it.
The man, whom police have not named, contacted a woman calling herself "Ricci" through a Craigslist ad on which she was selling two tickets to the game between the Oregon Ducks and the Auburn Tigers for $850 plus a transfer fee, said Medford police Detective Scott Clauson.
The man wired the money on Dec. 12 and expected to receive a call and then the tickets by overnight mail. The phone call and tickets never came.
Police say Ducks fans should buy from reputable ticket distributors and if using Craigslist should meet sellers face to face. They also should not send account or personal information to people they don't know, police say.
"It's a pretty big game (and) the scammers are going to play up on it," said Clauson.
Oregon's Attorney General John Kroger said citizens should take precautions before purchasing BCS tickets.
"Be suspicious of any offer that seems too good to be true," Kroger said in a news release. "Because it probably is."
Other tips provided by the Attorney General's office include:
- Only purchase tickets from a reputable ticket distributor.
- If using Craigslist, meet the seller face-to-face in a public place.
- Confirm that the section, row and seat on your ticket corresponds with a location in the stadium.
- Never wire money or provide personal account information to anyone you don't know.
- Purchase tickets before going to the game. Scam artists use color printers to create realistic-looking tickets and will try to sell them to fans outside the stadium.
- Verify that any travel agent you are working with to book a travel package is a member of a recognized trade association, such as the American Society of Travel Agents.
- If you or someone you know has fallen victim to a fake ticket scam, please call the Consumer Hotline at 1-877-877-9392.