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How To Avoid Counterfeit Colt's Tickets

Despite improvements in technology and security measures, fans continue to fall victim to counterfeit tickets sold for major sporting events.

See Below for tips to 
Avoid Buying Counterfeit Tickets 
Click Here

The following are 2 News Articles pertaining to counterfeit tickets

Colts fan kicked out of game over counterfeit tickets

Posted: Oct 14, 2009 6:23 PM EDT Updated: Oct 14, 2009 6:40 PM EDT

Steve Jefferson/Eyewitness News 

Indianapolis - An Indiana man bought Colts tickets, watched the start of the game but then got kicked out. It was his first trip to Lucas Oil Stadium.

Game Four of the Colts season ended up as ticket trouble for a football fan and his daughter. Joel Stackman promised his daughter, a Purdue senior, a trip to Lucas Oil Stadium to cheer on Peyton Manning and team. They drove to the stadium where a couple sold them tickets.

"People wearing Colts jerseys, a blond guy and a brunette gal. I paid a considerable premium, $220 for a couple of $74 seats," Stackman said.

Stackman and his daughter even dropped off outerwear for Bob Gregory's Coats for Kids collection. When they arrived at their seats, they found them already occupied by a man and his family.

"He had two small kids there. It was a young man and two small kids. They made them leave," said Stackman.

But 15 minutes later, stadium security made Stackman and his daughter leave, saying their tickets were no good.

"How did two people get in on the same ticket? I don't know. I would hate to see this happen to anybody else," he said.

Stackman and his daughter didn't put up a fight about being told to leave Lucas Oil Stadium. But he insisted on a copy of his tickets confiscated by security, who couldn't tell him why his tickets scanned in if they were counterfeit.

Lt. Jeff Duhamell said it could have been a scanning error. "You got 60,000 something people coming through there," he said.

Lt. Duhamell said although the investigation is ongoing, police have not ruled out that the tickets were lost or stolen just prior to the game. If so, that would result in different fans ending up with the same seat tickets. Lt. Duhamell says tickets lost or stolen are eventually taken out of the system so they are not valid.

Stackman hopes security cameras recorded the man and woman who sold him the tickets and ruined his and his daughter's first visit to the Colts new stadium.

"If you knew that, you are pretty rotten," he said.

The NFL nor the Colts Franchise takes responsibility for tickets they don't sell, so anyone buying anywhere else is at their own risk. Joel Stackman said he and his daughter finished watching the game at home.


Police: Fake Colts Tickets Part Of Widespread Counterfeit Ring

Up To 40 Bought From Trio Before Arrests, Authorities Say

POSTED: 6:46 am EST November 5, 2007
UPDATED: 3:31 pm EST November 5, 2007

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indianapolis police arrested three men during Sunday's Colts game on suspicion of selling fraudulent tickets to that event and being involved in a nationwide sports counterfeiting ring.

The men, all from Atlanta, also sold fake tickets during the Super Bowl and were involved in a counterfeit-ticket operation that spanned several states and has become the focus of an FBI  investigation, police said.


As many as 40 people bought fake tickets from the men before Sunday's game between the Indianapolis Colts and the New England Patriots at the RCA Dome, police told 6News' Tanya Spencer.

Police said Eric North, 36, Archie Blair, 46, and Dwight Wilcoxson, 48, were pulled over on suspicion of speeding at about 5 p.m. and eventually arrested. Authorities said the trio are suspected of being part of a counterfeiting ring known as the "Atlanta Crew," which investigators believe involves as many as 30 other people.

"It was excellent police work with the officers that just initiated from a traffic stop," Indianapolis police Lt. Jeff Duhamell said. "We hope this puts a dent in it."

The tickets looked convincing, with some of them having hard-to-duplicate holograms, police said. Investigators said they found 195 fake tickets to Sunday's game and more than 100 others to various pro and college games all over the country.

Officials said the fake Colts-Patriots tickets were selling on the street for up to $275 each.

"We had been having problems here in Indianapolis as well as other NFL sites with counterfeit tickets," Duhamell said. "We had a big problem back at Super Bowl time, and we believe that these individuals were directly involved.

Most of the people who bought the fake tickets are not from the Indianapolis area. Two of the buyers used cell phone cameras to take a picture of the man who sold them their tickets, police said.

Police said that was a good idea, but that they would have been better off buying tickets from a broker.

"It's pretty sad, especially for those individuals that fly in and pay the money for airfare &ldots; and them come in here and can't even get in," Duhamell said.

Investigators said they found several hundred dollars in cash in the car and found that the driver's license was suspended.

The Atlanta trio are expected to be charged in Indiana with forgery, a Class C felony, and could be charged in other states, pending the FBI investigation, police said.



Avoid Buying Counterfeit Tickets

Most events have multiple types of tickets they sell. For example, existing Season Ticket holders often get the fanciest tickets, complete with holograms, color photo, etc. But new Season ticket holders often get a modified version of the ticket you would get from Ticketmaster. Then there are the standard single game tickets fans buy from Ticketmaster. And last, there are e-tickets. Adding confusion, tickets do not look the same from year to year, or stadium to stadium.

There is also the small possibility the ticket is not counterfeit, but it is void or already used. Now that many tickets have barcodes, they can be cancelled and reissued. Or used, and then slipped to someone outside who resells it.

What's a Counterfeit? 

Fake tickets are sold which may (to some degree) appear real, but probably won't get you in. Security of course always varies, but you could be out some cash and in jail for trying to enter fraudulently. Counterfeiters have kept pace with past attempts to foil their efforts, like replicating the layering of variously colored papers. Nonetheless, complex images and black-light techniques (neither of which can be successfully duplicated) help identify what's real.

Simplest Warning! Don't buy tickets at the event from an individual on the street!!!!!

  • Watch out for frauds that sell counterfeit tickets or take your money and run.

 "Even if the tickets do arrive and are real tickets, they are sometimes not for the seats the seller advertised - which can mean the fan is stuck with seats that aren't next to each other, are in the opponent's section, are up in the nosebleed area, or have an obstructed view,"

  • Be Wary of Overseas Sellers - International counterfeit ticket sellers are known to price tickets lower than the going rate to reel in U.S. buyers online. If the overseas seller suggests not using Paypal in favor of payment options with less buyer protection - or insist using online payment tools unfamiliar to the buyer - that is a major red flag.

  • There are some sites out there that do legitimately sell tickets to football games. Try doing a google search and find the top online sellers, there are a few that are almost household names at this point such as Stubhub. Always do your due diligence though and double check your source before you click that 'Send Payment' button!

  • Craigslist and other online classifies serve as a convenient and popular source for tickets, but are a haven for counterfeiters drawn to the lack of buyer protection

  • If buying on eBay, make sure you check the seller's rating and length of time with eBay.

Some sellers have excellent ratings, but have been members for only months. A lot of them build feedback by selling passwords and other low priced items, then they list a big ticket item and take the money. Make sure the seller has received good feedback for other high ticket items.

  • Know the Seller. Are you buying them from Ticketmaster? Your co-worker or sibling? Someone you have bought from before? Or a site or Brokerage that is large, has an excellent reputation, and has been in business for a long time? Basically, if you know where to find the Seller on game day if there is an issue - then they pass the test for "knowing the seller."

  • Know the Source. Are you buying directly from the source - like Ticketmaster, the team, or an artist? If not, did the Seller buy the ticket directly from the source? So buying from a Broker who is a Season Ticket Holder is fine, but buying from a Broker, who bought them from a Season Ticket Holder, is not. One too many places something could go wrong. Basically, if the Seller bought directly from the source - then they pass the test for "knowing the source."

  • Know how to get a refund. Never pay with a cashier's check or wire money to a seller. Instead, use a credit card or Paypal, which offer some protection and potential reimbursement.

  • Are you paying with a Credit Card? If not, what will your plan be when you find out the tickets are fake? Always use a Credit Card. Federal Law and Credit Card agreements with merchants are biased toward the Consumer. If the tickets are bad, and the Seller won't give you a refund, file a dispute with the Credit Card. You will get a temporary credit on your card, and the charge will be reversed if the Seller can't prove the tickets were legitimate. If you paid with plastic, then they pass the test for "know how to get a refund."

  • Buy direct from the venue, which can guarantee the ticket you purchase online will be valid to attend the event.

  • If you buy tickets through an online auction, choose a seller with a long, continuous history of satisfied customers. Scammers can hijack old accounts, so make sure they have recently bought or sold other items

  • When buying from an individual through an online exchange don't be lured away from the Web site by the seller. Even if you met the seller on the exchange Web site, the company may not guarantee any lost money if a transaction occurs outside their domain.

  • Scrutinize photos of the tickets closely for any inaccuracies or alterations, and cross-check the seat assignment with the map on the venue's Web site.

  • Real Tickets use a high quality Card Stock, while fake tickets may not have the same quality.

  • A hard stock Ticketmaster ticket has very thin lamination which makes it glare.

  • If the ticket looks dull, it may be counterfeit

  • Check the quality of the printing - real tickets should have clear, crisp print - fake tickets can sometimes have blurred printing as a result of using a cheap printer or copier

  • Check for spelling mistakes on the ticket 

  • Check the seating arrangements - make sure the tickets actually exist.

  • A lot of scam artists will modify tickets. They will actually use good tickets which will permit entry, but will change the section and row. If someone is selling Front Row tickets, say the Front Row is Floor 1, Row A and they have tickets that say Floor 1, Row 1, then it should set off a signal that the tickets may be modified since the venue uses letters for the rows instead of numbers.

  • If you are permitted entry with a modified ticket, someone else with the real tickets will be sitting in the seats you think you own. The venue manager will pull both parties aside; make a quick decision which will usually end up with the person who does not have proof of purchase being escorted out of the building.

  • Say you buy tickets online. You're not the original buyer, but a secondary buyer. IF the original buyer sells tickets to you, then reports them lost or stolen, Ticketmaster will invalidate your tickets and issue new ones which will be held at Will Call in the name of the original purchaser. And there is nothing you can do to prevent this from happening.

  • Check the times and dates on the tickets and compare them to the Colt's schedule

  • The Price - If you are buying $1000 worth of season tickets for $200, there's a good chance you are getting scammed

  • Remember the Old Saying - "If it seems too good to be true, it probably is!" Yes, It is probably too good to be true.

  • Call the Colts and ask specifically if they have any special security measures embedded in their tickets

  • If the seller claims to be a Season Ticket Holder selling his tickets, the person you are buying from would have an account ID # with the Colts. Just call the Colts and verify that the tickets are legit and from the actual owner (not stolen). The person you are buying from should have no problem giving you this information if they are legit.

It is said that you can distinguish real from fake through these various tricks and trials:
(The Webmaster does not claim these tricks to work)

  •  Blacklight test: holding a black light up to the back of it: "it should have TM logos all over it, [although] the ads across the back of the ticket could be almost anything."

You can get a small pocket black light at Spencer's Gift stores.

  • Cigarette test: Many contend that you can (carefully, of course) hold a cigarette or match to the back of the ticket -- if a small disc-shaped spot turns blank on the front of the ticket rather than burning through, and without burning through, then (purportedly) the ticket is legit.

Problem 1: This only works on Ticketmaster tickets, not on mail order tickets.
Problem 2: This may be reproducable by counterfeiters anyway.
Problem 3: If you burn someone's ticket, and they thought and/or still think it's real, you may end up in a fight.

Nonetheless, custom rules, and this is commonly accepted as a test among many folks. Moreover, it's so commonly regarded that anyone who refuses the cigarette test may be (or at least usualy is) regarded as

(a) selling a fake,
(b) knowing that what they're selling is a fake. 

  • Fingernail test: Instead of burning your ticket you can run you fingernail quickly across the ticket and the friction of your nail will leave a black line across the front" if it's real.

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