Scam Alert with Craigslist and Stubhub: Be Warned
Craigslist has for a long time been a great place to find a good deal and probably one of the easiest places for someone to get scammed. As of recent I’ve come across a pretty elaborate scam involving craigslist and stubhub, the ticket broker company, which can cause you to lose quite a bit of cash without really having any idea wtf happened. I’ll explain the scam and give an example of how it works and hopefully it’ll save some people from losing their hard-earned cash.
The other day I was browsing on craigslist looking for Chicago Bears season tickets, as any die-hard fan would do. I came across a pretty crazy listing for 100 section 3rd row 50 yard line seats for essentially $150/seat per game. Now, realistically speaking these tickets retail for quite a bit more than that, let alone the market value. It was quite interesting to see and I pretty much assumed it was a scam but thought I’d take a shot at it. I emailed asking how much for the entire season and got a very quick response..
seller, email@example.com : ”$4,000 for all 4 tickets for the entire year”
Wow! $4,000 for 4 tickets to 10 games in the 100 section at that prime location? Checking stubhub would show you that these tickets are $12-15k a piece, market value. It made no sense, so I thought I’d just agree with it and see how we’d proceed.
“We have a deal. Where are you located?Chicago?I’m in England but we can use StubHub Fan Protect Program to complete the transaction.You must send them the money through your Bank Account.More details about the payment and delivery of tickets, you will find in the sales contract that you’ll receive from StubHub. I look forward your reply, if everything is OK with what I wrote above, so we can move to the next step. All I want now from you is to tell me what name will receive the tickets, so i can inform StubHub”
Sounds decent so far, right. Not really. FLAG 1: she’s not even in the country. FLAG 2: she’s asking to use a third party to sell the tickets. FLAG 3: she wants a non-regulated payment.. bank transfer. It could also be wire transfer, western union, etc… same request. So of course at this point it’s a total scam right, but that’s because I’m aware of these scams through those flags above… how about a normal user unknowingly continuing with this fraud sale? To see how far we could go, I continued with the scam. I said “ok”
“Thanks for your cooperation and i’m waiting to hear from you when you’ll receive the payment invoice, instructions how you’ll make the payment. If you don’t receive the payment invoice in one hour, please send email back and let me know that you don’t receive it.If that is not in your inbox then check your Bulk or Spam folder, maybe it’s there. Thanks and let me know when you’re done deal“
Sure enough within a minute or two I received an email. This part is a bit long, but I’m posting it IN the article to make sure that it gets publicized for future reference to anyone wanting to make sure this is a scam or not.
Subject: StubHub: FanProtect Guarantee – Order Confirmation #37584736
Dear Herman Mellapalackas,
Your tickets are on their way!
Remember your order is fully covered by StubHub’s FanProtect Guarantee.
Thank you for placing your order. We have instructed the seller to confirm your order within next 48 hours. This Payment Invoice is a contract between you and seller and applies to your use of Bank Account Services. You must read, agree with and accept all of the terms and conditions contained in the StubHub payment invoice.
Event: 2011 Chicago Bears Season – Season Package (Includes for all Regular Season Home Games)
Venue: Soldier Field Chicago, IL
Quantity sold: 40
Section: Lower Level 136
Price per ticket: $110.00
Delivery services: $0.00
Total sale: $4,400.00
STUBHUB AGENT BANK ACCOUNT
First Name: Steven
Last Name: Byrd
Sort Code: 209263
Bank Name: Barclays Bank
How to make payment?
1. Locate the nearest Bank Office.
2. Make the payment using the above StubHub agent Name & Bank Account.
3. E-mail us ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) the scanned payment receipt
How can you assure me the tickets are legit?
When a seller use our website (FanProtect Program) we require that they provide a valid credit card, so that in the event they do not provide tickets or the tickets they provide are not genuine, we will charge them for either the cost of replacement tickets or we will charge them the ticket cost (that you have paid) plus a 50% penalty which you as a protected customer would receive in credit towards a future purchase.As the seller has provided this information it is not economically viable for them to defraud our system. Please be advised that we have a dedicated full time Fulfilment team who take care of any ticketing issues should they occur.
Once we receive the payment confirmation, we will instruct the seller to start the shipping process. We will hold the payment details until you send us your confirmation that you are satisfied with the product you received. As soon as we receive your confirmation we will release the payment details to the seller.
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact us. Thanks again for using StubHub!
StubHub Customer Service
Weekdays: 5:00AM – 8:00PM (PST)
Weekends: 6:00AM – 7:00PM (PST)
StubHub! Where Fans Buy and Sell Tickets ™
Seems pretty legit overall, an email from email@example.com sent to my “name” and details of the seats, etc, pricing. It has a ‘email the scan of your wire tranfer to firstname.lastname@example.org’ near the bottom so once you do wire transfer the money, you can verify it was indeed completed so that stubhub can take care of this transaction. So far it seems ok, especially the fact that if you go to www.fanprotectorders.com it’ll forward to stubhub.com, as to make it seem that fanprotectorders.com is owned by stubhub. This is definitely not true and I verified this by doing a whois on the domain fanprotectorders.com vs stubhub.com and essentially getting an individual vs a corporation, respectively, for the registrants.
Let’s look at why this is an actual scam
1) the stubhub email is not sent from @stubhub.com. That’s a huge flag
2) the payment info is some yahoo in the UK, not actually STUBHUB or an affiliate
3) Stubhub doesn’t accept payments through bank transfers and western union
4) there’s no listing on stubhub.com for the tickets in question (this is probably your major reason to not fall for this)
I even decided to “email” fanprotectorders.com email address listed in the stubhub email to ensure that this was legitimate and the scammer sent responses from the fanprotectorders.com, acting as if she was stubhub, guaranteeing me that my money was safe and would be returned. Of course, 3 emails later of talking with “stubhub”, I received an email from the seller asking me why I was telling stubhub that she was a scammer, since she got a notice from them saying I was complaining. Funny, really, since all these emails are going to her directly.
All in all, you can see that this is somewhat elaborate. The person pretends to use a reliable third party to broker the tickets but unfortunately the emails are all fake and the money you’d be sending would go overseas to a scammer’s bank account only to never be seen again. It’s a more refined Nigerian scam and it’s taken a few people’s money already. This could have been a $4,400 payday for the scammer and fortunately I encountered it and now want to make sure that other people are aware of it.