DENVER (CBS4) – A high demand for tickets to see the Denver Broncos play has also made Denver a target for ticket scammers.
Hundreds of fans have reported showing up to Sports Authority Field at Mile High only to find they spent big money for nothing.
“Somebody is already in the seats,” one couple told CBS4 after leaving the customer service office at the stadium.
Donna George and her family thought the site they used was legitimate.
“It looks exactly like what we’ve used in the past,” she said.
Sgt. Steve Kimberly with the Denver Police Department’s Fraud Unit says it’s a problem, and Denver is attracting these types of criminals.
“Suspects that we’ve identified have traveled from out of state for high profile games,” he said
23-year-old Justin Novoa is one example.
He came to Colorado and was busted in Downtown Denver after trying to sell four fake tickets to the Denver versus Dallas game.
The total cost for those tickets was $900 and investigators found five more tickets in his car.
“When we think of fake tickets we think of the scalper standing on a corner somewhere near the stadium holding up a sign ‘I have a tickets for sale.’ That’s’ generally not the norm anymore,” Kimberly said.
Instead, things have moved online and scammers are using fake websites and apps that are constantly changing.
“Make sure that you’re the one seeking out that site, and that you’re the one that’s typing in that address in,” he said.
However, advances in technology are two-fold. In one instance, it’s making it tougher for consumers to identify a fraudulent ticket.
“The tickets that are being sold today, the fraudulent tickets are extremely high quality. I’ve seen lots, and I could not tell they were fake” said Kimberly.
It has also been a tool for investigators. In the Novoa case, a photo captured by a victims smart phone camera helped identify him.
“If they get away, they’re getting away with a lot of hard earned money from people in Denver, so we do take it very seriously” Kimberly said.
Novoa, who was from out of state, did not make his last court appearance and has a warrant out for his arrest.
Police and the Denver Broncos say the way to avoid getting fake tickets is to use a site that offers a guaranteed entry or money back.
Karen Morfitt joined the CBS4 team as a reporter in 2013. She covers a variety of stories in and around the Denver metro area. Connect with her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter @karenmorfitt or email her tips.