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Super Bowl Scam Shows Dangers Lurking on the Internet

Digital Citizens, Thursday, January 31, 2013

Just in time for the Super Bowl – a Super Scam.

Tickets to the big game are in high demand, but one San Francisco 49ers fan thought it was her lucky day when she found Super Bowl tickets on Craigslist. After talking to the seller for weeks, she wired him $5,900 for four seats. Unfortunately for her, when the package arrived that was supposedly carrying the tickets, it only had a note in it mocking her.

This type of scam happens every day. Unscrupulous sellers on the Internet prey on people looking for a good deal or rare items, take their money, and don’t deliver what was promised. These everyday scams may not make the news, but their effects are just as real on those who are victimized.

In this instance, the news coverage prompted the CEO of Ticketmaster to offer the victim free tickets to the game. This type of happy ending is rare. Usually there is no recourse for the buyer; the scammer disappears into cyberspace and no corporate CEO steps in to make everything all right.

That’s why it’s so important for Internet companies to work with consumers, government, and other businesses to find ways to stop these scams. They cost America $21 billion every year, and unless we act together, these criminals will continue to prey on the vulnerable.

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