Several Pittsburgh Penguin hockey fans eager to watch Game Four of the Stanley Cup finals on May 31 were disappointed after the tickets they bought from scalpers turned out to be counterfeit. However, police were able to arrest the culprits.
The tickets were purchased outside of the Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh, hours before Saturday night’s game between the Penguins and the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit won the game and leads the series 3-1.
Police were alerted to the scam after fans with the counterfeit tickets were turned away from the door by venue staff who scanned the tickets and quickly identified them as fakes. With the aid of several of the victims, police were able to identify and arrest the three men accused of selling up to $2,400 worth of forged tickets. The men have been charged with forgery and theft by deception.
In a video story, Pittsburgh’s CBS affiliate KDKA reported on one victim, who paid $650 for a pair of the counterfeit tickets. His cooperation with police led to the arrest of one ticket scalper. The video can be seen here.
KDKA also reported that the tickets show a game start time of 8:80 p.m. rather than 8:30 p.m. And, according to the police complaint, “The tickets were on a different type of paper and the word ‘Mellon’ was misspelled (MELON).”
Ticket scalpers have long sold counterfeit tickets at high-profile events like the Stanley Cup finals and the World Series. The practice still thrives in part due to advancements made in counterfeiting technology.