SAN ANTONIO -- Bexar County deputies arrested several men downtown for selling fake Justin Bieber tickets the day before the big show.
They caught them in a sting operation as the suspects were doing business inside a local hotel lobby.
With Justin Bieber tickets going at 15 times the face value, authorities say the market is hot for criminals.
A man who wished to be identified only as "John" is a San Antonio ticket broker who cruises ads on eBay, Craigslist and other sites, looking for good seats and affordable prices.
A deal on Craigslist -- $250 dollars a seat or a set of four for $900-- caught his eye. But when he contacted the seller and met him, what he discovered was an altered and phony Justin Bieber ticket.
“Right away I told him, these aren’t real,” John said.
The broker called authorities, and Bexar County undercover deputies arrested the suspect as he tried to sell the same tickets to a different victim.
Deputies said it is tough to catch them because con artists love to mingle their ads among legitimate sellers.
SAPD officer Matt Porter said:
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Brokers like John recommend buyers scrutinize everything, especially online, printable tickets. Any alterations is a good sign to just walk away.
After all, "Bieber Fever" shouldn’t cause parents pain, too.
“That would’ve been devastating for a mother or father that goes and gives this individual $900 of their hard-earned money," John said.
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