Buying legitimate tickets to a Washington Wizards playoff game is far from a lay-up these days.
On Thursday three New York City men were charged in connection with selling fake tickets to Friday’s Wizards game against the Indiana Pacers.
A 25-year-old Fairfax man called police after he noticed the tickets that he purchased for $650 via a Craig’s List ad had typos on them, according to a news release from the Fairfax County Police.
Police received another report on the same day, from a man who responded to an ad and purchased two tickets for $350. After taking a close look at the tickets when he got home, the man noticed illegible writing in red letters. The man contacted Ticketmaster and after some discussion, he determined they were fake tickets.
Police set up a meeting with the suspects, met up with the men in a parking lot under the guise of purchasing tickets and charged three men, Keith S. Neal, 21, William Powell, 23, and Jose Lopez, 21 with obtaining money by false pretenses and uttering a forged document.
All fake tickets were for the tonight’s Wizards game. Police suggest that anyone who purchased tickets from outside official sources should closely inspect the tickets. If there are doubts, contact 202-661-5050 for more information and to ensure tickets are valid. There may be additional victims that do not realize tickets are fake. The Washington Wizards issued a fraud alert for 2014 playoff tickets on May 2.
Police urge caution when buying and selling merchandise online. Once funds have been exchanged, there is little police can do to recover spent money.
Anyone with information is asked to call Fairfax County Police at 703-691-2131.