I was THIS close to gettting scammed big time today. I usually pride myself on being somewhat savvy when it comes to being taken for a ride but I almost fell for one of the most prevalent cons going. I hope that my "almost stupidity" (yes I made that phrase up) may help someone else if they are ever in the same situation.
A few weeks back I blogged about the boy band One Direction coming to town. I moaned and groaned about Ticketmaster and how the ticket prices are wildly inflated putting them out of reach for many of the fans. My daughter who used to be a "Belieber" became a "Directioner" when they first hit the scene. To say that she lives and breathes this band is an understatement. I have had to ask her repeatedly to refrain from changing the wallpaper on my computer, iPhone and iPad to pictures of these boys.
Well, the long and the short of it is that the concert is tomorrow night. On a whim I decided to check out Craigslist. Well what do you know, there are tickets for sale. Of course most of them are still over-priced and the ones that aren't go in an instant. But one post jumped out at me : 4 floor tickets, 10th row $125 each. I almost fainted. And that should have been my first clue.
I texted the seller. Would they be willing to split and sell me 2 tickets only. Yes - but if I was interested in all four they would give me an even better deal - Clue number 2.
By this point though I was dizzy with excitement - I started texting back and forth furiously with the seller - I was on an all-time high. My daughter was going to love me forever and I was surely the coolest mom ever.
The exchange went something like this:
Seller : Is there a Publix near you?
Me: Why yes, I can meet you there!
Seller: Oh no, I need you to wire me the money.
The sound of alarm bells going off must have been deafening but I only heard One Direction singing. ( Yes, I know their songs - they are on a constant loop at my house)
Me: Actually I would rather meet in person to exchange.
Seller. No, can't do that. I am at the hospital in Florida with a deathly ill family member. Can you go to Publix NOW!
The exchange continued with the seller getting more anxious to sell. Even offering me 5 floor tickets for the same price and saying I could give half the money now and half after the concert. To let me know they were genuine, they even swore on the life of their little daughter that all was legit and they would lower the price even more. Well that must surely mean they are good, honest sellers.
With a heavy heart, I passed. I wasn't going to take the risk. It wasn't so much about the money but the thought of turning up to the concert with my daughter and finding out the "e-tickets" were fake was not a nice one. I also hated the thought that I *may* have passed up perfectly good tickets but quite frankly the odds were not in my favor. The seller continued to text me - I blocked the number.
About 2 hours later I checked Craigslist again where a warning had been posted about the "cheap One Direction Floor Tickets". After reading the warning I was more than relieved. Seems that the seller was in fact a scammer and there was a good possibility that I had spent my morning corresponding with someone who, how shall I put this, is being "housed" courtesy of the federal government.
Craigslist posts several tips for saving yourself from scams such as this - pay attention to them. That's not to say that there aren't perfectly legitimate tickets for sale but I for one won't be buying any in the near future.
I think I am at the end of my One Direction odyssey. After all they are playing here in Atlanta next year and there are plenty of tickets still available but I think I will wait 6 months or so in case, like Bieber, they are no longer flavor of the month.
PS: If you DO have One Direction tickets ( and you are not incarcerated) - Call me, maybe....