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  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: car wash, Colorado Rockies, , , , , , tickets,   

    Fake cash in a safe zone, phony opening day tickets, and an app to report human trafficking 

    Fake cash in a safe zone, phony opening day tickets, and an app to report human trafficking

    When dealing with classifieds transactions, we often recommend using safe zones at local police stations. While safe zones go a long way in helping to ensure your safety, you can still be ripped off if you’re not careful. In Pennsylvania, a pair of suspects were said to have paid $500 in ‘Motion Picture Money’ for a PlayStation 4 at a local police station’s safe zone during an OfferUp transaction. While police were able to apprehend the suspects quite easily, this does show that you should be on your guard at all times even when using specially designated safe zones.

    Meanwhile, in Colorado, a couple found themselves out of $300 after trying to purchase opening day tickets for the Colorado Rockies. They had set up a ticket purchase through craigslist and had met the seller in the parking lot of Coors Field on opening day. The couple even took a picture of the man selling the tickets and his driver license in hopes that this would dissuade the man from selling them fake tickets. Unfortunately, it didn’t as the couple were turned away from the gate for the tickets being invalid. The tickets themselves appeared to be legitimate but what scammers do in many cases is they buy the tickets using stolen credit cards. Once the cards are reported stolen the tickets are canceled but the scammer already has physical tickets that were valid at one time. This particular scammer reportedly even taunted his victims after they tried to contact the seller over the phony tickets.

    Lastly, in the UK, an app has been developed to report possible human trafficking at car washes. The app was developed by an anti-slavery arm of the Church of England and shows users a checklist of signs of human trafficking at hands only car washes. A number of the victims at UK car washes turn out to be people displaced by immigration issues, mental health issues, or being in abusive situations. The app refers any possible sightings of trafficking to the UK’s National Crime Agency who decide if it warrants an investigation. While apps like this have been attempted in the US many don’t show the user how to recognize the signs of trafficking. An app like this designed by the FBI and suggested to the industries where human trafficking mostly takes place could be a boon in the fight against all forms of human trafficking. In the meantime, if you or someone you know could be caught up in trafficking you can contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1 (888) 373-7888 or at their website.

     
  • Geebo 10:01 am on February 5, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , grants, , , , , tickets   

    Just another day of classifieds crime 

    Just another day of classifieds crime

    One might think that after over 20 years of having online classified ads being so prevalent online that most people would become more aware of the pitfalls that have become inherent when using some of the less reputable sites and apps. Here are some of the stories that have happened just over the past 24 hours.

    While not technically a classified site even though it does have Facebook Marketplace, a tired old scam has targeted Facebook messenger uses. It’s the grant scam which promises users large government grants to do with what they wish. The only catch is that you have to pay a fee, usually of at least several hundred dollars, in order to process the grant. Of course, you’re expected to wire the money to whoever is supposedly managing the grants. To be clear, the government does not use Facebook Messenger to offer grants and they never offer grants unsolicited. Also, you should always be suspicious of any transaction that requires you to wire money as once the money is wired it’s virtually untraceable once it’s gone.

    In Youngstown, Ohio, there has been a rash of robberies through the marketplace app LetGo. In these robberies, the buyers are posing as men in their 30s and 40s but when the seller shows up to the meeting place they’re approached by teens who then rob them. The article we linked to does have some good safety tips but leaves out the most important one. Don’t just meet someone during the day in a well-lit and well-traveled area as even there robberies and worse have been committed. Instead, insist on meeting at a local police station. This one simple step goes a long way in discouraging scammers and thieves from trying to take advantage of you.

    In the Kansas City area, one man was swindled out of close to $400 after buying tickets from a supposed seller off of craigslist. The scammer had official looking documentation that carried the Ticketmaster branding, the only problem with that is the arena where the concert was being held doesn’t use Ticketmaster to distribute their tickets. The tickets never appeared and the would-be buyer was out of $400 before buying more legitimate tickets from a reputable dealer. The victim, in this case, was an IT specialist who admits that he should have known better showing that it’s people of all stripes and backgrounds that can fall for a craigslist scam.

    For our next story, we stay in Ohio, Hilliard to be precise where police have discovered a counterfeiting operation that was using OfferUp and Facebook Marketplace transactions to allegedly try to launder the money. In this instance, the phony bills were not theatrical money as has been the more popular counterfeit scam lately. Instead, these bills were manufactured and ranged in denominations from the humble $1 bill to the much more respectable $100 bill. Again, the article we linked to has several tips to prevent yourself from being ripped off by counterfeiters even claiming that the marker test isn’t always reliable as some fake bills will show as genuine when the special anti-counterfeit marker is used. In this case, the bills should have been easy to detect as they had markings on them in one of the Chinese languages.

    While not every marketplace platform is perfect, there are very few that go the extra mile in trying to protect its users. For example, Geebo reviews every ad in order to try to weed out the ads that are obvious scams and setups. Maybe if our competitors were more concerned about user safety they wouldn’t keep cropping up in the daily headlines for all the wrong reasons.

     
  • Geebo 10:37 am on January 10, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Dallas Cowboys, , , , tickets   

    Man loses close to $1000 on fake Cowboys playoff tickets from OfferUp 

    Man loses close to $1000 on fake Cowboys playoff tickets from OfferUp

    With the NFL season getting ready to draw to a close a number of teams still in the hunt for that elusive Super Bowl Championship. One of those teams is the Dallas Cowboys who came out victorious against the Seattle Seahawks this past weekend. Tickets for the NFL playoffs game are selling at a premium no matter which team you may be rooting for but as one Cowboys fan found out not all ticket sellers are legitimate.

    While many Cowboys fans were watching America’s Team beat the Seahawks this past Saturday, one man and his girlfriend were turned away the gate of AT&T Stadium for having phony tickets. The man had purchased the tickets from a seller he had found through the marketplace app OfferUp for $900. The seller was said to have not only produced legitimate looking tickets to the game but also produced a receipt and credit card that had numbers matching those used to originally purchased the tickets. Sadly, as we posted about at the beginning of this NFL season, this scam has become all too common. More than likely the scammer purchased the tickets using a stolen credit card before the card was reported stolen. The tickets are then issued before the credit card is reported stolen and once the card is reported stolen the tickets are made null and void. However, since the tickets appear to be the genuine article fans looking to get into a high demand game are being taken for a fortune.

    Much like any other item you may purchase through a classifieds site or app, there are steps you can take to prevent yourself from being swindled. For example, you can ask the seller to meet you at a local police station since many stations have areas set up for just such a transaction. You can also try to take a picture of the seller prior to the transaction. If the seller protests at any of this then the tickets advertised may not be your best bet. In the long run, don’t let your passion for your favorite team cloud your judgment when it comes to buying expensive tickets. Most times you’re better off buying the tickets from the box office or authorized resellers.

     
  • Geebo 8:58 am on September 10, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Carolina Panthers, , , , , tickets   

    New football season brings about old ticket scams 

    New football season brings about old ticket scams

    This past weekend, or this past Thursday if you want to be pedantic, was the start of the NFL pro football season. And with the start of the new season comes the mad scramble for tickets to see the games live. If you’re not a season ticket holder, good tickets can be hard to come by sometimes. In days gone by this would lead you to enlist the services of a ticket scalper. While the tickets were inordinately expensive, they were more often than not the genuine article. In today’s electronic world, tickets have become easier to fake and have led to an increase in ticket scams.

    For example, a woman in the Charlotte, North Carolina, area recently lost almost $1800 to a craigslist ticket scammer. The victim, a real estate agent, wanted tickets to yesterday’s Carolina Panthers home opener against the Dallas Cowboys. She had sent the money to the scammer after communicating with the alleged scammer over the phone and friending him on professional social networks. After she sent the money the scammer stopped taking her calls and never sent the tickets. This particular scammer is said to be so prolific that even the Panthers organization is familiar with him. The victim herself is said to be no stranger to craigslist scams since she deals with them in her day job but sadly fell for one anyway. This is even after the Panthers and many NFL teams limited customers in the way many of them receive electronic or paper tickets.

    If you’re looking to attend a football game this season, try to avoid places like craigslist for buying tickets. You may think you’re saving money or buying a hard to get ticket, but in the long run, you could end up losing your money and not being able to attend the game. While the prices for NFL tickets may be exorbitant these days, we do recommend that you only buy them from either the team themselves, licensed retailers, or authorized resellers. This way you can assure yourself that you and your family won’t be turned away from the gate on game day.

     
  • Geebo 9:01 am on October 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Houston Astros, , tickets, world series   

    Family tricked into buying fake World Series tickets from craigslist 

    Family tricked into buying fake World Series tickets

    How about that World Series huh? A lot of people have been calling one of the best World Series in a long time. Wouldn’t it have been great to see the thrilling nail biter game 5 live in Houston? Or how about the possible Astros victory during game 6 in Los Angeles tomorrow night. You might be thinking about running out to try to get tickets, but remember there are a ton of fakes out there.

    For example, a family in Texas bought a number of tickets from a man on craigslist. The man even met them at Minute Maid park in Houston. The family even tried to have the ticket booth review them for authenticity. They were told that the tickets seemed to be legitimate. However when they tried to enter game 3 they were turned away at the gate with the tickets turning out to be fraudulent.

    Usually how scammers get their hands on authentic looking but fraudulent tickets is that they use stolen credit cards to buy the tickets. The purchase is usually then cancelled by the actual credit card holder and the tickets are voided but the scammer still has the paper tickets. When buying tickets to a major event like a world series you should only deal with reputable dealers and resellers. Otherwise, you may just find yourself in the parking lot of a historic game you can’t attend having lost a great deal of money with noting to show for it.

     
  • Geebo 10:34 am on October 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: barcodes, , tickets   

    Don’t take pictures of your tickets 

    Don't take pictures of your tickets

    In the past, we’ve talked about online ticket scams and how to protect yourself from buying fraudulent event tickets. Whether they’re to a sporting event, a concert, or a Broadway show, there are many con artists out there with a myriad of way to produce fake tickets.

    But say that you have tickets and you bought them from a legitimate retailer. You’re good to go right? Not necessarily. When some people buy tickets to an event, they’re proud of the fact they were lucky enough to find these tickets, or they’re bragging to their friends. They’ll then take pictures of the tickets, or take a selfie with them, and post them to social media. That’s when the trouble starts.

    Tickets have barcodes on them and if your picture of them is clear enough, scammers can print out realistic looking tickets with your barcode on them. Then, if they, or the people the scammers have sold the tickets to, enter the venue before you, your tickets will be rendered null and void.

    You wouldn’t post a picture of your credit card online, this is very much along those lines.

     
  • Geebo 9:01 am on August 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ticketmaster, tickets   

    Amazon looking to branch out into ticket sales 

    Amazon looking to branch out into ticket sales

    We’re not saying Amazon is run by super-villains but…

    If you’ve attended a major concert in the past 25 years, you know how prohibitively expensive concert tickets can be. The main distributor, Ticketmaster, is infamous for its outrageous service fees. At one point, the grunge rock mainstay band Pearl Jam refused to do business with Ticketmaster because they felt their fans were being ripped off by the ticket outlet. Now, another company is looking to get into the ticket business; so is this good news or bad news? Well…

    Amazon is looking to reach one of their many outstretched arms into the ticketing business. On the one hand, this could be good for competition and could start a price war between the two competing outlets which could mean lower ticket prices for consumers. On the other hand, Amazon doesn’t seem like they care for competition. If you’re a frequent reader of our blog we’ve posted a number of stories about Amazon’s continued march through many avenues of retail space; this would just be one more foothold for Amazon in their quest for retail dominance.

    Amazon appears to want to be all things to all people when it comes to the retail market. Each small step they take could eventually lead to a giant leap that leaves competitors in their wake until we have little choice in our retailers. We’re lucky the Amazon heads don’t control a major news outlet or we’d really be in trouble…oh wait.

     
  • Geebo 9:52 am on June 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: boxing, Muhamad Ali, , tickets   

    Off Topic Friday: Are scalpers disgracing the memory of Ali? 

    Off Topic Friday: Are scalpers disgracing the memory of Ali?

    As most of us know Muhammad Ali passed away this past weekend. A public memorial is scheduled today at the Yum Center in Ali’s hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. The admission to the event is free and thousands lined up yesterday in order to get tickets. It didn’t take long for scalpers to start trying to sell the tickets online for exorbitant prices leading a number of people to claim that this goes against the memory of Ali.

    While Ali was probably the greatest boxer who ever lived he was so much more than that. Not only was Ali active in the Civil Rights Movement but was so adamantly opposed to the Vietnam War that he was stripped of his heavyweight boxing title and was suspended from boxing for four years after refusing to be conscripted into military service. Whether or not you agree with his stance you have to admire his conviction considering it kept him away from his passion for four years. After his boxing career was over Ali was still active within social causes around the world and at one point was even awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. We also can’t forget the work Ali did for raising the awareness of Parkinson’s disease which had plagued the boxer since 1984. The thought of people extorting other people just to attend his public memorial would probably be anathema to him.

    Since the ticket price was zero, selling the tickets for any amount is considered illegal. Ali was a hero to many and those who looked up to him should not be charged and arm and a leg for a chance to say goodbye to The Greatest.

     
  • Geebo 8:49 am on May 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , tickets   

    Online ticket sales are rip-offs 

    Online ticket sales are rip-offs

    And I’m not even talking about the exorbitant service fees that legal ticket vendors add on.

    Anyway if you’re looking to buy tickets to that sold out concert, game or show you may have considered looking to online marketplaces in hopes for finding a pair of tickets at a reasonable price. Best of luck to you since finding tickets like that is almost like finding the Holy Grail but here are some tips to use in order to avoid being scammed.

    The first is being asked to wire the payment to the seller. This is a good tip to keep in mind with just about any online transaction. If someone asks you to wire the money to them through services like MoneyGram or Western Union it’s more than likely a scam. In cases like this the tickets never existed and the seller is almost impossible to track and you’ll lose your money and have no tickets. While those wiring services are legitimate services for sending money to people you know they are used heavily by scammers.

    Another tip to keep in mind is to never buy the copy of an e-ticket from someone online. There’s nothing stopping someone from buying an e-ticket with a stolen credit card then selling copies of the e-ticket to multiple victims.

    This last item isn’t as much of a tip as it is an explanation. You usually can’t defend yourself against counterfeiters. Once you’ve been sold a counterfeit ticket you’ve already lost and you have little recourse against the scammer. Counterfeits range from cancelled tickets that were charged on stolen credit cards to tickets that were printed on a computer that look so genuine it’s almost impossible to tell apart from the real thing.

    With the summer months upon us many of these activities will be in full swing. Don’t let yourself fall into one of these traps.

     
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