Two names were on Brooklyn Hodge’s mind Thursday night: Justin and Chris.
She bought tickets to see Justin Bieber’s Wednesday night show at Gila River Arena in Glendale, but said the tickets “Chris” sold her were fake. She was denied entry at the door.
Several other fans, who were strangers to each other, told a similar story.
After seeing a Craigslist ad, they met a man who called himself "Chris" near Camelback Road and Central Avenue in Phoenix on Monday and paid hundreds of dollars in cash for tickets, but later learned the tickets were fake when they could not get into the concert.
“It was a very heartbreaking night,” said Victoria Morin, who said she bought what turned out to be fake tickets from Chris.
The seven women interviewed Monday night spent, all together, more than $1,500 on fake tickets, with an average price of about $200 per ticket, they said.
Hodge, who said a long line of would-be concertgoers suffered the same problem, said she filed a police report.
A Valley ticket expert has advice for anyone who buys event tickets from strangers.
Will Furniss, who owns The Ticket Lobster ticket brokerage in Phoenix, said buyers should take pictures of a seller’s driver’s license and face, and give warning of that condition over the phone before the sale. Some scammers might not show up for the sale with those conditions, Furniss said.
If buying more than one ticket, buyers should ensure that the numbers under the barcodes are not the same on the different tickets, Furniss said. Every Ticketmaster ticket should have a separate number under the barcode, he said.
A man who pleaded guilty to selling forged Disneyland tickets in Maricopa County last year was sentenced to five years in prison, court documents show. Terrance Hutchinson told a judge that he sold the tickets to two separate groups.