3 arrested after fans scammed for Wizards tickets

WASHINGTON – Three men are under arrest in Fairfax County, charged with selling fake playoff tickets to Wizards fans.

After examining his Wizards tickets purchased for $650 off Craigslist, police say a Fairfax buyer noticed spelling errors and inconsistencies in the printing. The typos drew enough suspicion to call police. And he wasn’t the only victim.

Another man told police that he responded to an ad and bought two tickets for $350. He noticed illegible red letters on the tickets and contacted Ticketmaster. The tickets were determined to be fakes.

So Fairfax police set up a sting. They met the sellers in a parking lot and said they were going purchase tickets. Instead, officers arrested three men from New York City, says Lucy Caldwell spokeswoman for the Fairfax County Police Department.

The Wizards issued a fraud alert last Friday, warning fans fake tickets were on the market and urging them to buy from valid outlets.

“Once funds have been exchanged there is little, if anything, police can do to recover that money,” Caldwell says.

Keith Neal, 21; Jose Lopez, 21; and William Powell, 23; all of New York City, are charged with obtaining money by false pretenses and uttering a forged document.

The fake tickets were all for the Friday, May 9 game at the Verizon Center.

Fans with concerns about whether they have purchased legitimate tickets should call 202-661-5050 for more information or to determine whether the ticket is valid.

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