NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Metro police and the National Hockey League are warning fans not to buy tickets off scalpers on the street or from unknown ticket brokers online.
Police have charged five men since the Stanley Cup Final started for selling counterfeit tickets in Nashville.
Officers charged Michael Martins, 31, of New York, and Christopher Cross, 38, of Nashville with selling fake tickets to Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final.
John Conner, 39, of New Orleans, Kenny Redding, 32, of Atlanta, and Torraine Davenport, 42, of Marietta, Georgia were charged with selling counterfeit tickets for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final.
Detectives said Davenport was found hiding more fraudulent tickets in his sock.
MNPD has undercover officers working downtown to find people illegally selling tickets and fake tickets.
Tickets for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final range in price from 1,745.25 to $9,173, including applicable fees on StubHub.
Would-be ticket scammers will be looking for fans eager to get tickets for less.
The Nashville Predators warned fans that increased fake tickets would continue throughout the series.
The “Grow the Gold” policy has built in protections to try to limit fraudulent tickets. Fans should know there is a no-resale policy and a mobile-only entry system.
That means there are no paper tickets and tickets will appear on mobile devices the day of the game, or in some cases, only after the doors open for admission.
Mark Greenbaum and his wife are visiting Nashville from New York City. They are scheduled to return to New York before Sunday’s game, but said they would stay if they could get tickets.
“The energy that comes out of Nashville for their predators is second to none,” he said. “I went to New York Yankees opening day and this is almost beyond that because of the energy.”
Greenbaum said he has purchased tickets for other events in New York from ticket brokers and sometimes scalpers. But, Greenbaum said he is always careful to know who he is buying from and what their history for ticket sales is online.
“I don’t usually buy off someone who is standing on the street,” he said. “I buy off someone who is from a referred group.”
He continued, “It is a shame people do that, but as we all know, when it comes to money people do things.”
For ticket purchases in general the Better Business Bureau suggests you avoid online classifieds sites like Craigslist and instead purchase from the venue or the official website.
It’s also important to check out the seller or broker, know the refund policy and use payment methods that come with protection, like credit cards or PayPay.
The BBB also advises fans to be wary of advertisements with ridiculously low prices.
“Consumers will pay almost any amount of money to go to their favorite sporting event or a concert to see their favorite artist,” President/CEO of the BBB of Middle Tennessee Kathleen Calligan said. “Consumers would be very surprised at the number of complaints Better Business Bureaus across the country get.”
Calligan said the scammers will even create authentic looking websites that spoof legitimate companies like Ticketmaster.
“You have to make sure you are on the right website,” she said. “You will see variations of web addresses and emails that look legitimate.”
For example Payments@ticket-master.online, ticketmasterinfo.com, ticket-masters.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com are all imposters, according to Calligan.
“This is prime time for scammers,” she said. “Not just scammers on the street but we deal with international scam networks.”
Besides just the financial loss of being scammed by fake tickets, there is an emotional cost.
“Have you ever been in line at a concert and someone in front or behind you finds out their ticket is fake?” Calligan said. “I have seen whole families disappointed when they arrive for this event they are looking forward to but they cannot get in.”
According the Nashville Predators’ official website, fans should also be careful when buying Predators’ merchandise.
“The most secure way to guarantee legitimate merchandise it to purchase through the Nashville Predators Team Store and NHL.com,” the site said.
The NHL is also tells fans to:
- Look for an NHL hologram sticker or hangtag
- Check for a sewn-in or screen-printed label identifying a licensee that has been authorized by the NHL to produce “officially licensed” merchandise, and make sure that any sewn-in tags or labels are intact and not ripped
Conner, Redding, Davenport, Martins and Cross are all charged with counts of criminal simulation and remain in the Davidson County jail.