A San Francisco 49ers super fan fell victim to a Super Bowl ticket scam, only to have her dream come true when local media outlets picked up on her plight.
Sharon Osgood, a 49ers season ticket holder from the Bay Area, arranged to pay $5,900 for four tickets advertised online. The seller claimed to be a Ravens season ticket holder missing the championship because his wife was pregnant, the Mercury News reports.
But when the tickets came via FedEx on Monday, Osgood was stunned to find only a piece of paper that read:
ENJOY THE GAME!!!! GOO RAVENS!!! LOL
But luckily for Osgood, her story caught the eye of Ticketmaster CEO Nathan Hubbard. Hubbard called Osgood and offered her four free tickets, plus a breakfast meeting with a former NFL player, according to a follow-up from The Mercury News.
"I am so super excited," Osgood told NBC Bay Area when she learned of the Tickemaster offer. "I can't tell you how blessed I feel. We were crushed, and then we were elated."
Osgood told NBC that she felt confident wiring the money because she had spoken with the seller on serveral occassions and he seemed sincere. She has since filed a police report with the Alameda County sheriff's department.
CBS notes that the fake seller, besides being a cruel scammer, could also be guilty of wire fraud and should be reported to the wire transfer company Osgood used, as well as the Federal Trade Commission.
WUSA News warns sports fans that tickets offered online via Craigslist come with no guarantees. Instead, the Better Business Bureau suggests sticking to sellers like Ticketmaster and Stub Hub. In addition, the site advises never to use a wire transfer as payment, which makes it "impossible to recoup your money or to trace the funds."
Police in West Virginia arrested a man attempting to pull off a similar scheme this week, WVNS-TV reports.
An Iowa woman bought what she thought were four tickets to the Super Bowl from Jeffrey Scott Barfield. When she didn't receive the tickets, authorities tracked down Barfield, who admitted he has simply stole pictures of Super Bowl Tickets and put them up on Craigslist, according to the station. It was also discovered that Barfield was wanted by the U.S. Marshal Service.