Fort Worth police are investigating the online sale of a pair of stolen Dallas Cowboys tickets for Sunday's game against the Minnesota Vikings.
A couple from Oklahoma used the classified ads site Craigslist to find the Silver Level Club Seats on the 50-yard line, according to police. The face value of the tickets was $340 apiece, and the victims paid $500 total for the two tickets, police said.
The victims met the sellers at a 7-Eleven convenience store in far north Fort Worth on Saturday night and paid cash, according to the police report.
When they arrived at AT&T Stadium on Sunday, ticket takers were able to successfully scan the bar codes on the tickets, and the couple was able to enter the stadium, the police report states. But when the couple reached their seats, they found the rightful ticket holders sitting in them.
The rightful owners told the victims they had purchased replacement tickets after their original tickets were stolen.
A Cowboys ticket office representative told NBC 5 that the original ticket's bar code should be invalid once a replacement ticket is authorized, preventing someone from ever entering a stadium with the stolen tickets.
"Invalid tickets are blocked on the ticketing system and, when scanned by the ticket taker, the scanner returns a message indicating that the tickets are not valid for entry," Cowboys spokesman Rich Dalrymple said in a statement Monday night. "On rare occasions, a person holding an invalid ticket may accidentally gain entrance into the stadium."
The team does an internal audit to improve its ticketing system and identify any problems after every game, Dalrymple said. The results of the audits are not available to be released to the media, according to the team.
To prevent fraud, fans should purchase tickets to sporting events through official channels, such as directly from the team or from licensed ticket brokers, said Jacqueline Peterson of the ticket agency TicketMaster.
"Buying sports tickets on Craigslist is the online equivalent of buying tickets from a guy on a street corner," she said.