‘They got me’: Scammers take cash for fake tickets

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — For 25 years, Chris Newell has bled red, white, and blue for the Tennessee Titans.

“Being a Titans fan is probably one of the great joys of life,” Newell said.

Outside of his job as a production assistant at FOX13, Newell hosts a Titans podcast and loves repping his team.

“Talking about the Titans, especially seeing them in live games is something that is my happy place,” he explained.

When Newell saw tickets up for sale in a Facebook group this past weekend, he immediately grew excited by the opportunity to make the trip to Nashville.

Newell said he sent $260 via Zelle to the Facebook user, only to get blocked by the account claiming to sell them.

“The second that the money got transferred over, the communication immediately stopped,” Newell said.

“It is really easy to fake a Facebook profile,” explained Jeff Horton, a cybersecurity expert and the owner of One Point Solutions Group. “Unfortunately, it’s just the wild, wild, west.”

Horton warned that anyone could be scammed, whether they work in local news or any other profession.

He recommended that concertgoers and sports fans use authorized sellers like Ticketmaster to avoid sending money to a scammer.

“First preference, make sure you go through an authorized source,” Horton said. “If you’re buying from a Facebook group or anything like that, just know that there’s the possibility that the account is not real.”

If you have purchased tickets to a coveted event like a Taylor Swift concert, Horton recommends upgrading your Ticketmaster password to a phrase that is secure and unique.

He also recommends setting up multi-factor authentication so that you receive a text or call when someone is trying to log into your account.

“If people would do those two things, it would eliminate 95% of all hacking activity,” he said.

Newell said he still has faith in his favorite team, but he has lost all trust in buying tickets from people on social media.

“They got me,” he said.