Redskins versus the Cowboys. The big rivalry with big ticket prices. But as some unhappy Skins fans discovered, the Internet can be like the Wild, Wild West when it comes to buying tickets.
“He played me pretty well,” Skip Joselyn said. “He certainly did.”
Joselyn says as soon as he saw a Craigslist ad for $300 tickets to the Redskins-Cowboys game; he knew he had to have them.
“It was tough to turn down,” he said.
The seller wanted the money in the form of a Greendot Moneypak card, which is a prepaid card that allows you to transfer cash without a bank account.
“I had to go to a CVS Pharmacy and pick up the card,” Joselyn said. “I simply went to the cashier, paid for the value of the card in cash it and it became, like, literally cash in my hand.”
The seller could then use the card’s pin number to get the cash.
But Joselyn was uncomfortable. In an e-mail to the seller, he wrote, “I’m a little nervous about just giving you the number – especially since the Moneypak site says never to give the number out.” He asked, “Can you send me a picture of the tickets?”
The seller wrote back, “I got no way to get you a picture right now.”
But he did send Joselyn an address, and for extra reassurance, told him his wife’s name was “Amanda Hensley.”
"That was one of the things that made me actually more comfortable in doing a deal,” Joselyn said. “He provided me an address and a phone number and his wife's name."
Joselyn sent the pin number, but the tickets never arrived.
“What’s going on?” he asked in another e-mail. “Where are the tickets?”
The seller told him they were locked in his wife’s car. And with that, Joselyn never heard from the seller again.
"You definitely have the thoughts of going down there and confronting them to find out what is going on here,” said Joselyn. “That does really frighten me.”
We found Amanda Hensley, the seller’s so-called wife, who told us, “He doesn’t live here. I’m not married to him. No relation.”
This mother of two says she knew something was wrong when she started getting calls from angry Skins fans wanting to know where their tickets were. She says the calls only stopped when she filed a police report for identity theft.
“He used my home address to scam a bunch of people out of tickets online,” said Hensley.
Arlington County Police Detective Crystal Nosal says the seller “is playing on your confidence. It’s getting the victim to trust the suspect and make them believe that they are making a fair trade.”
Nosal says you should always try to do a little research before you buy any kind of ticket online.
When we did a Google search, we found the same e-mail account is linked to Craigslist ad selling tickets to a John Mayer concert in Orange County, Calif., a wrestling match in Los Angeles and another NFL game in Houston.
Like the Redskins listing, the ads want “$300 for the pair” and claim the seller lives nearby, even though the locations are thousands of miles apart.
“It’s a bad deal for everybody involved,” Joselyn said.
He did get to go to the game, but only after he purchased another set of tickets online. But this time, he says he thoroughly scouted his opponent before he made his final play.