EDITOR'S NOTE: AFter 9NEWS aired this story on Sept. 4, the City and County of Denver released a statement saying they are still looking for the suspect. If you have any information on the suspect, please call 720-913-6062.
DENVER - An estimated 77,100 ticket holders will watch the Broncos take on the Ravens in the highly anticipated season opener at Sports Authority Field on Thursday.
There will likely be dozens more who show up to the game thinking they have tickets, only to get bad news at the gate and learn their tickets are counterfeit.
A newstip led 9Wants to Know to "Mike," a man who tried to sell reporter Will Ripley counterfeit Broncos tickets he posted for sale on Craigslist.
"Mike" has already fooled at least two fans, who say they paid him almost $500 for fake tickets.
9Wants to Know went undercover to expose what the Broncos consider a big problem.
Kirk Dyer, Executive Director of Ticket Operations and Administration, says fake tickets are something the Broncos deal with every single game.
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.
"Mike" agreed to meet Ripley on the 16th Street Mall downtown Wednesday afternoon, after the two exchanged text messages.
Mike posted several Craigslist ads, promising his prices are "cheaper than stub hub."
He was selling seats in Section 104, Row 9, for $300 each. However, within seconds of seeing a photo of the tickets, Dyer confirmed they are not legitimate.
"It's definitely a counterfeit ticket," Dyer said. "We spend probably two to three hours every game night just dealing with this type of situation."
Dyer says most counterfeit tickets are sold on Craigslist.
"Buyer beware. You want to purchase tickets either through the Broncos, through Ticketmaster, or through NFL Ticket Exchange," Dyer said.
The fake tickets looked real enough to trick Jeremy Graham.
"We paid $230 each for them," said Graham.
Graham flew all the way from LA for the game and says he met "Mike" downtown on Tuesday to buy tickets he now knows are worthless.
"It's pretty frustrating," said Graham.
Graham's friend Rick Garrick pointed out the most obvious sign of a fake ticket, the size.
"And I'm like these are kinda small," said Garrick.
Garrick noticed multiple printing errors and that each ticket has the exact same barcode, subtle signs many fans would miss.
"We got suckered," said Garrick.
Ripley tried asking "Mike" for an explanation, but all he wanted to do was leave.
"Why are you selling fake Broncos tickets," Ripley asked.
"I don't know," Mike replied.
"Are you printing these tickets," Ripley asked.
"No sir I'm not printing tickets," Mike replied before walking away.
"Mike" told Ripley he had purchased the tickets from someone else and needed to get his money back, but he refused to identify who sold him the counterfeit tickets.
Minutes after meeting with Ripley, "Mike" took down all those Craigslist ads.
But hours later, he was still responding to text messages, still offering to sell those tickets.
"He's still trying to take advantage of people that want to go to the game. And we need to stop him," Garrick said.
The Broncos passed along 9Wants to Know's information to Denver police, who are now investigating.
(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)