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Police warn counterfeiters are taking advantage of Broncos ticket feeding frenzy

9:46 PM, Jan 13, 2014   |    comments
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DENVER - Seats for Sunday's AFC Championship Game between the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots sold out in a matter of minutes Monday morning.

High demand is driving many fans to the secondary market, where prices are rapidly rising.

Online ticket search engine SeatGeek says the average price of $633 makes this most in-demand AFC Championship since at least 2009, when they began monitoring such data.

Tickets went on sale at 10 a.m., but even as early as 10:01 a.m. people logging onto Ticketmaster's website got a message saying "tickets not available online."

At 10:13, the Broncos tweeted "AFC Championship Game Tickets have sold out."

If you tried calling, you probably got a busy signal.

Justin Wehler, of Broomfield, waited anxiously by his computer only to end up empty-handed.

"There's nothing available," Wehler said. "It's going to be next to impossible to get them."

Wehler's only hope now is to search the secondary market.

"I've tried stub hub and Craigslist; it just gets too expensive," Wehler said.

Prices are ranging from several hundred to several thousand dollars, and there's no guarantee what you're getting is legit.

"Buyer beware. That's what I'll tell you. Buyer beware," Denver police spokesman Sonny Jackson said.

Jackson says officers are bracing for the inevitable spike in counterfeit tickets sold by unscrupulous scalpers.

"[Counterfeiters are] trying to sell you something that's not worth anything. So really, be careful. They're out there. They're going to prey on you," Jackson said.

The Broncos see fake tickets at every single home game.

Major matchups are the worst, with the vast majority of counterfeits coming from Craigslist.

Fans arrive at the gate thinking they have valid tickets, when in fact they paid hundreds of dollars for fakes.

In sold-out games, the Broncos often cannot accommodate fans who purchased counterfeit tickets.

"Educate yourself as a buyer," Jackson said.

Jackson says you need to know what a real ticket looks like, meet your seller face-to-face in a public place, and use your camera phone to collect evidence.

"Take a picture of who you bought your ticket from and their license as well. If they won't allow you to do that, then I'd be concerned," Jackson said.

Even the best evidence doesn't guarantee an arrest.

Denver Police are still looking for a counterfeiter who called himself "Mike" who was caught on camera by 9Wants to Know attempting to sell fake tickets on the 16th Street Mall earlier this season.

Mike posted several Craigslist ads, promising his prices of $300 per seat were "cheaper than stub hub."

Police say people like him are out there trying to take of advantage of people like you.

"When you're a diehard fan, you definitely want to be where the action is and be at the game supporting your team," Wehler said.

The only guarantee you're getting a real ticket is to buy through Ticketmaster and NFL ticket exchange.

Police also point out that it is against the law to sell a ticket for more than face value within the city and county of Denver,

So if a scalper approaches you anywhere in Denver, they're already breaking the law.

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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