Lehi woman loses $1,000 in NBA All-Star Game tickets scam

Feb 16, 2023, 6:43 AM

LEHI, Utah — Sunday night’s NBA All-Star Game is sold out and has been for a week. If you want tickets, it means buying them from someone who already has them. But how do you know if the tickets you are buying are any good?

Jenny Williams turned to KSL Classifieds in search of two tickets.

“My daughter and son really wanted to go to the NBA All-Star Game,” she said.

She found someone willing to part with two seats for $1,000. Not a great deal, but in line with what some tickets were going for with popular ticket re-sellers.

Buying directly from someone appealed to Williams because it meant avoiding nearly $400 in fees. “The fees are just ridiculous,” she said.

Williams sent the seller the $1,000 through money transfer apps and then – you guessed it. “Yep, never heard from him again, once we had the money,” she said.

“Whenever there’s an event that a lot of people are trying to get to that’s competitive and hard to get tickets for, there’s going to be some scammers out there hoping to get a slice of that pie,” said Britta Clark with the Utah Better Business Bureau. Every year BBB hears many complaints from people who were ripped off trying to buy tickets.

Her advice? “Whenever possible you want to purchase from the venue,” she said. “Many official ticket sales agents do offer secondary options but once those all sell out, you’re pretty much at the mercy of a secondary reseller or broker. And those can sometimes be where you start to get into scammy territory.”

With some tickets for the All-Star Game going for more than $12,000, people trying to avoid those prices or the accompanying fees fall right into a scammer’s web.

Ticket sellers and particularly ticket fees have been an issue in Washington, D.C., in recent weeks.

“I think it’s a nightmare dressed like a daydream,” said Utah Sen. Mike Lee, quoting lyrics last month during hearings held by the Senate Judiciary Committee over Ticketmaster’s botched sale of Taylor Swift tickets. 

And President Joe Biden took aim at ticket fees in his State of the Union speech just last week.

“Americans are tired of being — we’re tired of being played for suckers,” he said.

None of that, of course, helps Williams, who, looking back, recognizes missed warning signs.

“He was just really pushy and making us feel like we had to buy them right away because all these people were looking at the tickets,”

And now, with her $1,000 lining the pockets of a dishonest crook, her kids will not be able to attend the All-Star Game on Sunday.

“I was sick to my stomach,” she said. “Just losing that much money and then knowing we couldn’t afford to buy tickets after losing that much money.”

All tickets to the All-Star Game are digital this year, so if you have somebody trying to sell you a paper ticket, that is a guaranteed scam.

Williams believes that is part of the issue. With digital tickets, there is no face-to-face meeting. You have to trust sellers will send the actual tickets if you send the money.

You can see a list of all scheduled All-Star events here.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

KSL All-Star Access

(KSL TV)...
Katija Stjepovic

Local Black-owned businesses participate in weekend retail experience

Many Black-owned businesses saw a welcomed economic boost from NBA All-Star weekend. Now, the Utah Black Chamber of Commerce wants to keep that alive with a new weekend retail experience.
6 days ago
Bottles of alcohol...
Shelby Lofton

State says temporary liquor store set up for All-Star weekend was a success

State officials say the temporary liquor store set up for NBA All-Star weekend was a success, but they're also looking at ways to improve.
16 days ago
Savanah Norman...
Tamara Vaifanua

Local makeup artist stands out during NBA All-Star weekend

KSL TV's Tamara Vaifanua introduces us to a local makeup artist who picked up her most famous client to date – Gabrielle Union.
27 days ago
This week on Sunday Edition, Doug Wright and his guests look at the impact the NBA All-Star weekend...

Sunday Edition: NBA All-Stars, Legislative Session 2023 Final Weeks

This week on Sunday Edition, Doug Wright and his guests look at the impact the NBA All-Star weekend will have on Utah and the final weeks of the 2023 legislative session.
1 month ago
(Ryan Young)...
Debbie Worthen

Utah father, son given free tickets to NBA All-Star Game after chance encounter

A father and son from Draper, Utah, got the surprise of a lifetime during the NBA All-Star weekend.
1 month ago
(Shelby Lofton/KSL TV)...
Shelby Lofton

Black business owners call NBA All-Star weekend ‘a win’ for Utah’s Black community

African American business owners in Utah say this weekend was a win for the Black community, adding that having the NBA in town gave them a big boost in business.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Close up of an offset printing machine during production...
Les Olson IT

Top 7 Reasons to Add a Production Printer to Your Business

Learn about the different digital production printers and how they can help your company save time and money.
vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Lehi woman loses $1,000 in NBA All-Star Game tickets scam