Police investigating man accused of selling fake concert tickets in Columbus

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Thousands are expected to fill the Schottenstein Center Thursday evening for the Jason Aldean concert. However, some country music fans are disappointed that their tickets will not work, because they were sold fake ones. NBC4’s Elyse Chengery spoke with a victim who is now warning others about her mistake.

Fans say they are excited to see Jason Aldean perform at the Schottenstein Center Thursday night, but Columbus police tell us four people have been sold fake tickets. CPD investigators say they believe there could be more victims.

“(I was) looking for tickets online, found a Craigslist ad that indicated, ‘hey, email me your phone number for consideration,'” says Lindsey, one of the victims.

Lindsey agreed to meet the man near the campus area to pick up the tickets in person. She paid him $500 in cash for 4 tickets.

“He was like, you know, ‘I sent them to you in an email’ so I went ahead and pulled out our money. We sat there for a minute because the email hadn’t gone through.”

Lindsey says she realized something was wrong when she messaged another person online trying to get tickets. They both had the same exact seats for the concert.

“It’s really hurtful, it was Floor 2, Row E, Seats 1,2,3 and 4 and it was going to be awesome. The other gentleman had two daughters and a wife and I can’t fathom what those little girls are going through.”

Both parties went to police. Sergeant Kline with the Fraud and Forgery Unit says police then made a fake buy,

The suspect was a white male, about 5’9″-10″ with brown hair, 150 pounds.

Police say the suspect, who appears to be around age 29, was detained for questioning. All 4 victims identified the same man through a photo but police aren’t releasing the name or photo of the suspect as more victims are coming forward.

Columbus police say this may not be the only concert that fake tickets were sold to.

Columbus police say the fake ticket scheme could have begun a few weeks ago as a woman came to police, saying she could not get into the Bruno Mars concert that was held at the arena weeks earlier.

Columbus Police put out an alert on Wednesday that fake tickets were being sold to the Jason Aldean concert.

Sergeant Dennis Keith Kline says, “the suspect who was a male, white about 5’9″-10″ with brown hair, 150 pounds had sold the tickets.”

Police say they questioned the man, but he hasn’t been charged. Now police say they are trying to figure out if anyone else is involved…and how many victims there are.

“He said he’s only been doing it for a narrow length of time,” Kline says. “We had a victim we got contacted by from today that they bought Bruno Mars tickets. She said that she felt that it was probably the same person, then that’s making our suspect’s story less probable, saying he’s only been doing this for a week,”

Lindsey is just devastated she’s missing Aldean’s concert.

“Honestly, I just want as many people to come forward so that way he can get the punishment that he deserves. I mean, doing this isn’t right. I hope that he gets put behind bars,” says Lindsey, who spent hundreds of dollars and has no tickets for the concert.

The Director of Communications for Columbus Sports and Entertainment, Gary O’Brien says, “The only way to be sure a ticket is valid is if you buy it from an authorized seller, whether that’s from the venue or Ticketmaster.”

Police say to double check your tickets before going to Thursday’s concert. If you think you may have bought a fake ticket, you’re asked to make sure you save any of the ads, emails and phone numbers from the seller and call Columbus police immediately. Click here for a list of tips provided by Ticketmaster.

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