December 9, 2013 Sections
Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
The Winnipeg Jets played on Friday night, but win or lose, Brett Legault wasn't going to be in the crowd cheering them on.
That's because Legault, who desperately wanted to go to the game, was shut out after he was allegedly scammed on Kijiji.
"Moral of the story: I'm an idiot for trusting someone on Kijiji and I was scammed," the St. Norbert resident lamented Friday.
"I'm more disappointed about not going to the game than losing the $100. But I don't have that much disposable income, so losing that $100 means I won't be going to a game this year.
"My wife said I was an idiot trusting him in the first place."
Legault said it all started when he saw a Kijiji ad Wednesday advertising two tickets for $200 in the 200 section of the MTS Centre for Friday's Jets vs. Pittsburgh Penguins game.
Legault said because he was a huge fan of the Penguins -- before the Jets returned -- he desperately wanted to go to the game and jumped at contacting the advertiser.
"He said he was from Saskatchewan and couldn't get in for the game," Legault said.
"When I said I wasn't sure about paying for the tickets before I got them, he said I could pay $100 for them and then pay the other $100 once I got them."
Legault said he used email to transfer the $100, then waited for the courier. When nothing came, he emailed the seller, who said he would check into it.
When Legault checked the courier on Friday morning, he discovered it had no record of any shipment. Because he works near Steinbach and heard about another resident there similarly scammed, he called the Steinbach RCMP detachment.
Steinbach RCMP put out a statement earlier this week saying its investigation has found "the culprit(s) have a lengthy history of frauds ranging from the East Coast of Canada to the province of Alberta for similar Internet ticket-based incidents.
"The RCMP would like to remind people not to send money to persons you haven't met without taking the proper steps to verify the legitimacy of the individual."
Daniel Williams, a spokesman for Phonebusters, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre managed by the Ontario Provincial Police, the RCMP and the federal government's Competition Bureau, said "unfortunately there's an awful lot of handshake deals on the Internet.
"So when thieves pop in, no one knows the difference. It is extremely unsafe.
"There's so much fraud out there you have to do your due diligence before you send them money," Williams said.
He said criminals are trolling all areas of the Internet, including dating sites, which they use to befriend people, then defraud them of thousands of dollars. "There will always be real people trying to unload tickets on the Internet, but if they are a complete stranger to you, it's a massive gamble."
Scott Brown, a spokesman for True North Sports and Entertainment, said people wouldn't fall victim to scams if they only bought tickets for Jets games through the Jets.
"The only secure way that somebody can get tickets off the Internet or online through the secondary market is through the Winnipeg Jets seat exchange, which they can find through links at winnipegjets.com," Brown said.
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 16, 2013 A11