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Pechanga fight tickets say San Deigo – guess why?

Scammer used Craigslist, Wallet, and Zelle

In the fourth round, in the final UFC fight, Vera knocked out Cruz, the San Diego local.
In the fourth round, in the final UFC fight, Vera knocked out Cruz, the San Diego local.

Just days before UFC Fight Night at the Pechanga Arena last month, Nathaniel Fox, who lives in North Park, had his own bouts — online.

"I fell victim to a scam from a Craigslist listing," Fox said in a warning online NextDoor neighbors. "Go figure!" [It's] for this weekend's UFC event, but to their credit, it was a fairly advanced scam."

Besides sporting events, "about 12 percent of people buying concert tickets get scammed," says a 2018 news report.

Fox, an SDSU and UCSD PhD student, had his guard up from the get-go.

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"I was attempting to vet any scams because I know how prevalent they are on Craigslist," he said. "But I obviously failed at that."

Before wiring the money, Fox had two phone conversations with the Dallas-based ticket seller who said he was coming in for the August 13 fights in the Point Loma venue on Sports Arena Boulevard. "I'm also from Dallas, so we spoke about that briefly," Fox recounted to me in a September 5 interview. "Then I gave him my email; he dropped the UFC event tickets in my Wallet.

Wallet is short for Apple Wallet, a secure app on iPhone and Apple Watch which conveniently organizes credit and debit cards, boarding and transit passes, identity cards, keys, rewards cards, tickets.

Fox took a quick gander in his Wallet app and saw the alleged digital tickets, one for him and the other for his girlfriend.

"I thought receiving them this [Wallet] way was automatically legit," he said. "And I looked them over quickly, and they seemed good, so I paid him" $400 on Zelle.

"Then I looked over the tickets in detail, and San Diego was spelled "San Deigo."

Zelle is an app where you put in your mobile number and a Mastercard or Visa debit card to send and receive money.

"He kept insisting the payment didn't go through and sent follow-up Zelle requests that would've had me double-pay," Fox explained. "I told him the money was sent."

"Then I looked over the tickets in detail, and San Diego was spelled "San Deigo." [But, unfortunately,] my eyes missed it when glancing. I then called the office and found it was a scam. At that point, I confronted them (ticket seller and family members), and they went ghost [out of touch]."

"I hunted them down," Fox continued. "I called multiple of his family members after he blocked my calls. They mostly hung up on me after I told them my story and said, 'best of luck,' as if this wasn't the first or last of those phone calls they'd received. I filed complaints through Wells Fargo, Zelle, and the FBI. So far, I have received a partial refund of $26.04. Which is pretty pathetic and unhelpful; I spent more digging on this guy."

Fox went on his neighborhood forum and warned of the online ticket scam, which usually happens to concertgoers. In previous news reports, concert tickets were typically purchased by bots. Then, scalpers would resell the tickets for big markups, causing a frenzy in the secondary market and leading concertgoers to fall prey to scammers.

"I got scammed buying tickets to Wicked from [a] guy off Craigslist," a local commented underneath Fox's online warning. "[I] found out at the box office. A couple days later, I checked to see if he was still running his ad, so I had my partner make contact. We conducted a little mini sting and met this douchebag at the Home Depot parking lot. I got his plates and took his picture from a distance while my partner pretended to want tickets. Next thing he knows, the cops are on his doorsteps. It's only a misdemeanor, so the cops can't arrest him unless he pulls the scam on them. He told the cops he'd give me my money back but never did. Scumbag. Craigslist sucks. Anyway[s] — I learned my lesson and had a little fun in the process, but I wouldn't recommend doing what I did. Who knows what these folks will do in retaliation."

The concert tickets scam has since transitioned over UFC arenas worldwide.

Back in North Park, Fox's girlfriend wasn't out of the fight yet.

"My girlfriend went above and beyond and got us real tickets to the event," Fox concluded. "The sentiment means a lot more to me than the $400 ever did. I hope I get it back, but I'm thankful to be blessed with such a great partner."

The couple proceeded to watch the mixed martial arts fights at the arena. In the fourth round, in the final UFC fight, Vera knocked out Cruz, the San Diego-born fighter.

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In the fourth round, in the final UFC fight, Vera knocked out Cruz, the San Diego local.
In the fourth round, in the final UFC fight, Vera knocked out Cruz, the San Diego local.

Just days before UFC Fight Night at the Pechanga Arena last month, Nathaniel Fox, who lives in North Park, had his own bouts — online.

"I fell victim to a scam from a Craigslist listing," Fox said in a warning online NextDoor neighbors. "Go figure!" [It's] for this weekend's UFC event, but to their credit, it was a fairly advanced scam."

Besides sporting events, "about 12 percent of people buying concert tickets get scammed," says a 2018 news report.

Fox, an SDSU and UCSD PhD student, had his guard up from the get-go.

Sponsored
Sponsored

"I was attempting to vet any scams because I know how prevalent they are on Craigslist," he said. "But I obviously failed at that."

Before wiring the money, Fox had two phone conversations with the Dallas-based ticket seller who said he was coming in for the August 13 fights in the Point Loma venue on Sports Arena Boulevard. "I'm also from Dallas, so we spoke about that briefly," Fox recounted to me in a September 5 interview. "Then I gave him my email; he dropped the UFC event tickets in my Wallet.

Wallet is short for Apple Wallet, a secure app on iPhone and Apple Watch which conveniently organizes credit and debit cards, boarding and transit passes, identity cards, keys, rewards cards, tickets.

Fox took a quick gander in his Wallet app and saw the alleged digital tickets, one for him and the other for his girlfriend.

"I thought receiving them this [Wallet] way was automatically legit," he said. "And I looked them over quickly, and they seemed good, so I paid him" $400 on Zelle.

"Then I looked over the tickets in detail, and San Diego was spelled "San Deigo."

Zelle is an app where you put in your mobile number and a Mastercard or Visa debit card to send and receive money.

"He kept insisting the payment didn't go through and sent follow-up Zelle requests that would've had me double-pay," Fox explained. "I told him the money was sent."

"Then I looked over the tickets in detail, and San Diego was spelled "San Deigo." [But, unfortunately,] my eyes missed it when glancing. I then called the office and found it was a scam. At that point, I confronted them (ticket seller and family members), and they went ghost [out of touch]."

"I hunted them down," Fox continued. "I called multiple of his family members after he blocked my calls. They mostly hung up on me after I told them my story and said, 'best of luck,' as if this wasn't the first or last of those phone calls they'd received. I filed complaints through Wells Fargo, Zelle, and the FBI. So far, I have received a partial refund of $26.04. Which is pretty pathetic and unhelpful; I spent more digging on this guy."

Fox went on his neighborhood forum and warned of the online ticket scam, which usually happens to concertgoers. In previous news reports, concert tickets were typically purchased by bots. Then, scalpers would resell the tickets for big markups, causing a frenzy in the secondary market and leading concertgoers to fall prey to scammers.

"I got scammed buying tickets to Wicked from [a] guy off Craigslist," a local commented underneath Fox's online warning. "[I] found out at the box office. A couple days later, I checked to see if he was still running his ad, so I had my partner make contact. We conducted a little mini sting and met this douchebag at the Home Depot parking lot. I got his plates and took his picture from a distance while my partner pretended to want tickets. Next thing he knows, the cops are on his doorsteps. It's only a misdemeanor, so the cops can't arrest him unless he pulls the scam on them. He told the cops he'd give me my money back but never did. Scumbag. Craigslist sucks. Anyway[s] — I learned my lesson and had a little fun in the process, but I wouldn't recommend doing what I did. Who knows what these folks will do in retaliation."

The concert tickets scam has since transitioned over UFC arenas worldwide.

Back in North Park, Fox's girlfriend wasn't out of the fight yet.

"My girlfriend went above and beyond and got us real tickets to the event," Fox concluded. "The sentiment means a lot more to me than the $400 ever did. I hope I get it back, but I'm thankful to be blessed with such a great partner."

The couple proceeded to watch the mixed martial arts fights at the arena. In the fourth round, in the final UFC fight, Vera knocked out Cruz, the San Diego-born fighter.

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