Monday, December 13, 2010

Jeffrey Diebold Ticket Scam

Yesterday was supposed to be awesome. My lovely wife bought me tickets to the Bears/Patriots game for my birthday. She got the tickets on Craigslist back in October. I hadn't been to Soldier Field since the 2003 renovation (when they implanted a spaceship inside Soldier Field), or to a regular season Bears home game in over 15 years, so I was obviously excited. Jester didn't want to go, so I employed a complicated algorithm to randomly select Australian Andrew to accompany me.

As you may know, yesterday was a classic Chicago winter day. It was snowing the entire day, there were 30+ mph winds, and the wind chill was in the single digits. But that didn't temper our attitudes or excitement. We bundled up, and headed to the game, pumped up to see what we hoped would be a good game between two good teams.

After waiting in line for 15-20 minutes to get inside the stadium, the ticket scanner scanned our tickets (which were print-outs, not actual tickets), and allowed us to pass into the Mecca of professional football. We went to our section. It was great -- 40-yard line seats on the club level.

The only problem was that our seats were in Row 9, and there were only 6 rows in the section. We asked the usher where are seats were, and she was just as confused as we were. She got someone else, and he was equally as confused. He then got someone from the ticket office, who was also confused, so she asked us to come with her to the ticket office so she could figure out what was going on. Here is the view from what where our seats should have been:
As we walked to the ticket office, she asked where I got the tickets. I told her my wife got them on Craigslist, and the guy who sold them to her -- Jeffrey Diebold, whose name was listed on the tickets as a season ticket holder -- also gave her a copy of his drivers license, which I had with me. When we got to the ticket office, she took the tickets and the copy of the ID and went into a room. She reemerged a couple minutes later and told us our tickets were counterfeit. They have apparently had several counterfeit tickets with this guy's name on them.

With that, she sympathetically informed us that we had to leave, escorted us out of the stadium, and told us to file a police report. Sweet. And, of course, the ticket office is on the south side of the stadium, so we had to walk all the way around the stadium to head back to the L. We ended up just going to a bar and watching the rest of the game.

I was pissed off, but took it in stride. Jester, on the other hand, was mortified, not only because she spent a lot of money on the tickets and because she knew how excited I was about going to the game, but also because she had been swindled. To her credit, she did everything recommended by Craigslist. She met the guy in a public place, used cash only, and communicated with the guy both through email and phone. After the guy asked to meet at the Woodfield Mall because he lived in the Northwest suburbs, she even did some quick internet research on the guy's name and confirmed that there was a Jeffrey Diebold who lived in the Northwest suburbs.

Needless to say, we will be filing a police report.

Here are some lessons to take away from this:
1. Don't buy tickets from someone holding himself out to be Jeffrey Diebold of Hawthorn Woods, Illinois. Jester said the guy who sold her the tickets looked like the guy on the copy of drivers license he gave her. From some quick internet research, the address on the license appears to be real and appears to be where the guy lives.
2. Don't ever buy tickets from Craigslist. Use Stub Hub, Ebay, or some other site that has mechanisms in place to hold its users accountable. And, in the case of Stub Hub, it allows the seller the option of entering the unique ticket ID code, so that as soon as someone buys it, the actual ticket is sent to the buyer.

3. If you do use Craigslist:
-Make sure the tickets you get are the exact same seats as those advertised (and, if specific seats aren't advertised, make sure to email the poster to get the specific seat information first).
-Call the venue to make sure those seats exist.
-If you communicate via email, be cautious of any odd email address or an email address that doesn't contain the person's name. For instance, this guy had an email that was something like albertcaponechicago@gmail.com, and when Jester asked him about it, he said that he uses it only for Craigslist postings.
-Meet the person in a public place.
-Ask to see the person's ID or to take a picture of them if they say they don't have an ID with them (seriously). If you see their car, take down their license plate.
-Get hard copy tickets (i.e., not print-outs of electronic tickets). If the person says he or she only has electronic tickets, make them forward them to you in addition to giving you print-outs.
-If anything at all seems fishy, don't buy the tickets and report the person to Craigslist.
-Keep copies of the Craigslist posting, any emails exchanged, and any phone numbers until after the event takes place.
-Don't be afraid to resort to vigilante justice.

6 comments:

The Weez said...

Thought you might enjoy this, then:

http://www.reddit.com/r/funny/comments/em01h/how_i_got_an_uncooperative_ebay_buyer_to_pay_for/

Jeff said...

I got scammed by Jeffrey as well. Look out everyone!

GMYH said...

Jeff, if you haven't already done so, definitely call the Chicago PD or the Cook County State's Attorney. Diebold is facing several forgery charges for multiple incidents, and he is going to trial soon.

Anonymous said...

Do you have an update? I tried to get involved in the Cook County case, but couldn't because I was a victim in Lake county...

Anonymous said...

I know him! I can deliver him to you! He is a scammer!

Anonymous said...

He used to be in my circle of friends! It was hard to believe this guy was really such a scum bag scammer until every one of us had a multiple incidents of undeniable shit to consider. Sneaking face cards into a poker game, stealing from friends, breaking into peoples houses, and above all lying about it. He is a loser with a problem and he's never allowed back into this group!

Here is the last number I had for him, enjoy calling him at dawn

1(847) 687-7522

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