Nearly 2 dozen sports fans scammed with fake tickets at Bankers Life Fieldhouse

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Nearly two dozen college basketball fans found themselves scammed at Bankers Life Fieldhouse Tuesday night.

They’d all come to town to watch the Champions Classic, only to realize they bought fake tickets.

According to the police report, 10 of the victims live in Indiana. The rest were visiting from as far away as Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio.

Even before the games got underway, IMPD detectives learned numerous people had fallen victim to a group of con artists who came to town to sell fake tickets.

‘’We have a great fraud unit. We’re aware this kind of thing happens and we try to head it off when we can,” said IMPD Sgt. Jim Gillespie.

In this case, police say when they began investigating they found several people bought counterfeit tickets on street corners and bars around the arena, but many had purchased the forgeries from a seller on Craigslist.

“Craigslist, when it comes to big events, just attracts scam artists,” said the owner of Circle City Tickets Mike Peduto.

Police say the fake tickets varied in quality and some were simple photo copies. Still, trusted ticket brokers say anyone who finds tickets online for a fraction of the market value needs to realize that is a huge red flag.

“It’s like someone selling a 20,000 car for 5,000. There’s something wrong with that car and there’s something wrong with those tickets. They’re almost always fraudulent,” said Peduto.

“If there's a good deal that’s too good to be true for a hot game, it’s probably too good to be true,” said Gillespie.

A spokesperson at Bankers Life sent a statement that read, “We urge fans to always visit www.bankerslifefieldhouse.com to purchase tickets.  If fans choose to purchase tickets elsewhere, we suggest buying only from official secondary market sellers like Ticketmaster.”

“If you’re not on a trusted site to purchase a ticket, there’s a good chance it could be a fake ticket. It could be fraudulent,” said Gillespie.

Because all the deals were done in cash, police say there was not enough information to trace the deals back to any suspects. In the end, no arrests were made.