The final show of George Strait’s career will be held this Saturday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington; it’s perhaps the biggest concert event of the year and fans without tickets to the sold out show are paying big bucks to see the legendary country crooner ride off into the sunset.
With ticket prices skyrocketing on the secondary market, fraudsters are also trying to cash in on the show by selling bogus tickets. At least one North Texas family has already been duped.
“It’s his last concert. It’s his last stop,” said Chasity Scott. “This is where it ends, in Dallas, Texas.”
High school student, Chasity Scott, her mother, Amanda Scott, and her teenage cousin, Morgan Lynch, are big George Strait fans who desperately wanted to go to his farewell concert.
“Being able to see George Strait was the number one thing on our list,” said Lynch.
So when they saw an ad on Craigslist for four George Strait Club Level tickets plus parking for $1,500, they didn’t hesitate.
“I’ve bought cars and horses and saddles. I’ve bought all kinds of stuff on Craigslist and I’ve never had any problems, never,” said Amanda Scott.
The ad read: “I am having surgery late next week and will not be able to attend concert … my loss your gain.”
After getting in touch with the seller, they set up a meeting at the Tanger Outlet Mall in Terrell. The teenagers went to meet her.
“Everything looked real,” said Lynch after the woman showed up and showed them the tickets.
The girls even tried to take an extra precaution by asking the seller’s to show her driver’s license and provide handwritten receipt. The seller told them, conveniently, she forgot it.
“She was even dramatic about it and was like, ‘I can’t believe I drove all this way and didn’t even have my license,’ ” Chasity explained.
At the end of the meeting, the girls gave the seller the $1,500 cash and took the tickets. But when they got home, Scott’s suspicious father discovered they were fakes with one phone call to Ticketmaster.
“The guy on Ticketmaster said that these tickets didn’t exist and that they were for Lady Gaga concert at the American Airlines Center that had already happened,” Chasity said.
“I was floored. I was just floored,” said Amanda Scott.
That’s when the family took to the Internet to find this woman. And it turned out they believe she’s done this same thing to others, selling bogus Miley Cyrus tickets. They texted her and demanded a refund.
“I do understand that you want your money back. I have to get it back from the person I gave it to,” the seller wrote.
And while she insisted “those tickets are good tickets,” she also apologized.
“It was just a one-time opportunity that we’d get. It kind of just slipped away because somebody scammed us,” Lynch said.
Fake tickets are not uncommon and George Strait’s fans have been targets during his farewell tour.
At his Austin concert earlier this year about 100 fans bought bogus tickets. And in Omaha, Nebraska, 200 fans who thought they were buying a promotion package, which included tickets to the show, hotel and transportation, showed up, but the company never had tickets to give them.
“When the bus of fans arrived and realized they had no tickets, our staff worked with George Strait’s staff to accommodate them as quickly as possible into any open areas and seats in the arena we could find including putting more seats on the floor. Our staff and George Strait’s staff felt terrible for the fans and we tried to help the best we could,” said Kristi Anderson, Director of Communications for the Metropolitan Entertainment & Convention Authority in Omaha.
Lucky for those fans, but that’s not always the case.
“You have to be very careful. You probably should buy from respected established websites such as StubHub or Ticketmaster or from perhaps ticket sellers that have been around for years. If you start buying things off of Craigslist or eBay, it could be dangerous,” said Jeff Mosier, reporter for The Dallas Morning News.
Ticketmaster said a consumer’s best bet is to buy from official sources that can guarantee authenticity of the ticket. Authorities warn if the price is too good to be true, it usually is.
“We literally gave away $1,500. A lot of people don’t make that in a month. So that’s a very hard thing to swallow,” Scott said.
While Scott said they were able to get back $300 from the seller, it’s also a hard lesson that she hopes others will learn from so they don’t repeat it.
“I just want to keep others from having the same thing done to them,” she said.
And when more than 100,000 fans pack the stadium on Saturday to see Strait sing his last concert note, this family won’t be there.
“I was really, really, really looking forward to seeing him,” Scott said of Strait’s last hurrah. “That’s why we’re heartbroken.”
Police are investigating the seller and believe they have a person of interest in the case.