OLATHE, Kan. -- An Olathe family tried to buy tickets to Saturday's Panic at the Disco concert -- but instead, they were the ones panicking.
It seemed authentic enough. It was Friday, and Erik Claar, a father of three, was trying to purchase tickets to the Panic at the Disco concert at Sprint Center. A
After going through secondary ticket sellers, Claar found a Craigslist ad from an alleged ticket owner putting his passes up for sale. Claar gave that seller, who called himself Mason, $375.
But the Claars told Olathe police they never got those tickets.
"It didn't seem risky at all. He seemed like a normal guy who had received tickets from work," Claar said.
He told police about Mason, the online con who said he'd transfer the tickets to the Claars' Ticketmaster account. Mason even had fake Ticketmaster logos on his messages.
"I knew I shouldn't have. I'm an IT professional," Claar said.
Only Sprint Center doesn't sell tickets through Ticketmaster. The area uses a service called AXS instead.
The Olathe dad said he's embarrassed since he knew better. But he even talked to the scammer on the phone.
"He was like an Average Joe. He didn't do it as a business transaction. He did it like you and I would sell tickets. That was the scam," Claar said.
Police said Claar isn't alone. Online scammers are getting more creative.
"If it seems too good to be true, it usually is," Sgt. Logan Bonney with Olathe police said.
Bonney said online purchases, even the ones on Craigslist, aren't always bad -- but technology has made it easier for scammers.
"To be able to spoof a phone number and change that number and make it seem like it's coming from a separate location -- that makes it really easy for the scammers and really hard for us as consumers when we're dealing with people we don't know," he said.
Claar said he eventually bought Panic tickets from a reputable dealer after they became available later on. Claar said he recommends others to stick to buying tickets face-to-face.
FOX4 reached out to Craiglist for comment, but so far, we haven't heard back. The popular website does have a page of advisories to consumers, part of which cautions the public to take precautions against fraud.