SFPD ready to handle counterfeit tickets at Paul McCartney show

Tuesday, August 12, 2014
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Concertgoers had a great time at the Outside Lands concert, except for those who were kept outside the gates because their tickets were no good.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The Outside Lands Music festival in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park is over, but the fallout remains from the sale of counterfeit tickets. The festival drew 200,000 people and a lot of con artists as well.

There were high-profile headliners, more than 100 acts on seven different stages and hundreds of thousands of people that attended the seventh annual Outside Lands festival.

Tickets ranging from $115 to $595 were sold out in just 24 hours. Those were the real tickets. Then, there were the other ones.

San Francisco Police Capt. Simon Silverman told ABC7 News a lot of the fake tickets were bought on the Internet and a few were from scalpers.

There were hundreds of incredibly authentic looking tickets bought by concert goers who reportedly paid as much as $1,000 per ticket. People bought them, only to have their tickets voided at the entrance. In all, police detained 36 scalpers.

"One was actually arrested and booked for counterfeit tickets and there were 10 other citations for peddling without a permit," San Francisco Public Information Officer Ofc. Gordon Shyy said.

ABC7 News asked why the tickets looked so real.

"One of the ticket companies had some of the ticket printing stock stolen some time ago so there have been different tickets printed to different concerts and this concert was one of them," Silverman said.

The next big music event in the Bay Area is the Paul McCartney "Farewell to Candlestick" concert on Thursday. Police say they'll be prepared to deal with scalpers. They'll add staffing to the extravaganza, including officers dedicated to counterfeit tickets and other crimes of opportunity. Meantime, there is one way you can tell if a ticket is counterfeit.

"With some of the ticket card stock, if you hold a flame to the back of the ticket, then the front of the ticket will immediately go black," Silverman said.

Still, the best and easiest way to make sure you're not victimized is to buy tickets from legitimate sources.