No, my mother is not selling concert tickets…

August 22, 2023, 9:30 AM

I don’t understand what makes people send money to random people on the Internet, but I’ve seen it happen, and have recently been put in the unenviable position of being the unwilling spokesperson regarding one of those people, advising people not to give their money to someone who is acting under false pretenses.  I’ve seen it happen with people who are desperate for love, getting scammed under the mistaken idea that it will help them get laid.  Apparently, people looking for concert tickets are also quite vulnerable to being scammed, as I’ve come to find out firsthand when my mother’s Facebook became compromised, and a new person started using the account to scam people who were seeking to buy concert tickets.  What happened was that Mom clicked on something that she had absolutely no business clicking on, and that allowed an attacker to seize control of her account.  They quickly changed the login credentials in order to lock Mom out of it, and then started putting the account to use for more nefarious purposes.  I found out about it by people who saw my name on Mom’s Facebook account, then, seeing that I had a verified account, came to me to find out if I knew who the seller was, and wanted to know when their concert tickets would arrive.  I did some research, and turned up several examples of what was going on:

"I have 8 Savannah banana tickets on 26th August at Des Moines principal park in Iowa for sale, message me if interested."  "Hello 👋, I've 4 Nickelback tickets for sale at cheaper price, send a dm if you're interested thanks"  "Hello 👋, I've 4 tickets to Jelly Roll Concert in Clarkston, MI tonight. PM me if you're interested."

"I'm selling (4) Morgan Wallen Tickets (FENWAY PARK) 4 Jersey Street, Boston, MA 02215 Fri, Aug 18 message me if you are interested."  "I have Jason Aldean tickets for concert in Sioux Falls, Friday night Aug 18. Happily letting them go for a negotiable price. Don't want them to go to waste!!! No scammers!"  "I'm selling 4 Riley Green tickets available for aug 17th at Lewisburg, WV. DM if you are interested."

Apparently, “Mom” (note the quote marks) was putting out the bait on various ticket exchange groups on Facebook, and then waiting for the suckers to roll in.  And apparently, there were enough people who were desperate enough for cheap concert tickets that they fell for it and gave this person money.  Then after they got burned, they came to me.

The messages from the victims came in a few different forms.  Some people contacted me to verify the legitimacy of these things after their “Spidey sense” started tingling:

Them: “Is this actually your mom or was she hacked?”

Me: “Her account was compromised after she clicked something that she had no business clicking on, and so it’s not her behind the tickets that the account is trying to sell.  Don’t give the person currently running the accounts any of your money.  You will get scammed.”

Them: “Thank you. That’s what I thought!”

They were smart about it and did their due diligence, and confirmed that what they were potentially getting into was not legitimate.  Therefore, no money changed hands.  Be like them, and research your seller before you complete a transaction, to make sure that everything is on the up and up.

Then some people who didn’t do their due diligence got salty with me after I gave them the bad news, i.e. that they had been scammed:

Them: “Is Jane your mom?”

Me: “Yes, and let me guess: she sent you a solicitation for tickets?  Her account is currently compromised. It’s not her sending that. I’m working on getting it fixed.”

Them: “It takes a day to fix, and yes, she took $150.00 from me and it went her debit card.  I’m reporting to law enforcement.  My son is sick I didn’t have the money to lose.”

I really wanted to snap back at this person with a sharply worded response, because they were blaming my mother for things that someone else who hijacked her Facebook account was doing, and blaming me for not fixing it quickly enough for her liking, but I held myself back from telling them what I really thought of them.  The response, had I responded back, would have been quite colorful, I’m sure.  Yeah, Mom made a mistake by clicking something that she shouldn’t have, but then Mom became a victim of this scammer’s tactics as well, because her name and reputation are now being sullied by this shyster.  Then I also had my opinions about this person’s response.  Your son is sick and you don’t have money to lose, and yet you somehow had $150 to blow on concert tickets?  I know that if I didn’t have money to spare like that, I certainly wouldn’t be spending what money I did have on concert tickets.  It makes me think that the son was being used as a “think of the children” tactic in an attempt to make me feel badly for her about what the stranger impersonating my mother online did.  Sounds to me that they were fine with blowing $150 on something frivolous while their son was sick and money was tight, but that blowing $150 only became a bad thing when they didn’t vet who they were buying from and got nothing out of it, and only now is it money that they couldn’t spare because of their sick child.  Clearly, they could spare it if they were buying concert tickets with it in the first place.  Regardless, the fact that they were gullible enough to fall for a scammer and get taken for $150 that they could have spent taking care of their son is their problem, not mine.  I’m ultimately just the messenger, giving them the bad news that yes, they got ripped off.  In addition, if the problem with Mom’s Facebook account only took a day to fix, I would have already fixed it, and this lady would have never been scammed by someone pretending to be my mother in the first place.  So don’t get salty with me because you were an easy mark for a scammer.

However, they did say one thing that was correct, and that was about going to law enforcement.  If you believe that you were the victim of a scam, contact your local police department and file a report.  Even if you don’t necessarily get your money back, you’re starting a paper trail and helping to establish a pattern, and that has value as well.

And then there were some people who came out swinging right out of the gate, sending me threatening messages:

Them: “Hey.  Look, I don’t know how you’re related to ‘Jane Schumin’ but I sent her money for Jays tickets tonight, and she doesn’t believe me, which is fine.  However, I sent $75 to this email ‘’.  If she and her husband (Earl, I think) don’t want to believe me, that’s fine.  But I have sent auto deposit emails with transfer numbers as evidence and have not gotten a reply.  I am only reaching out to you to say that if I don’t get my money by noon, I will be going to file a complaint to the Durham Region police and my bank for fraud.  I am not threading [sic] you, I am just letting you know, in the hopes you can maybe reach out to one of them and get them to check their accounts to prove that I sent it, and then to send me back MY $75 for these Blue Jays tickets, as I have not received them.  Thanks.”

Me: “Jane Schumin is my mother, and the account that you were contacted by is compromised, after she clicked something that she had no business clicking on.  Whatever the person now controlling the account is doing, it is not legitimate, i.e. you got scammed.  […]  If you believe that you were the victim of a scam, please report it to police.”

That guy’s tone quickly changed from confrontational to conciliatory once they realized that the person whose name was on the account had nothing to do with it, and also that I specifically encouraged them to call the police.  After all, I want this abuse of my mother’s good name stopped just as much as the next guy.  This is my mother that we’re talking about, after all, and I don’t want some scammer sullying her reputation.  And besides, if Mom was actually dealing in concert tickets, why didn’t she offer me any?  All that said, that guy quickly realized that we were both on the same side, as I was not about to defend a scammer.  The hell with the scammer.  They’re an awful person and they need to be stopped before they trick anyone else out of their hard-earned cash.

Of course, the other question is, why is someone purchasing tickets on Facebook in the first place, and even then, not even through Facebook Marketplace?  That just seems like a recipe for disaster, as Facebook lacks a vetting mechanism to ensure that what you are attempting to buy is legitimate.  And as these people that contacted me discovered, the bill of goods that they were sold was not legitimate, i.e. they got scammed out of their money.  The best advice that I’ve found is pretty simple: never buy tickets on Facebook.  In other words, just plain don’t do it.  The same article recommends that if one must purchase tickets via the secondary market, to use a reputable ticket-selling service, such as StubHub and the like.  Facebook does not fit that description.  Protect yourself, and only use reputable vendors for such things.

Then there’s the other side of this: the Mom side.  That advice applies to everyone as well.  It is very important to always use the Internet responsibly.  Always vet what comes into your inbox, because there are bad players out there on the Internet.  Don’t click on and open things that you don’t recognize, because it could be malware, out to create some very real problems for you.  More responsible Internet usage would eliminate a lot of problems that we see online.

Meanwhile, Facebook has been amazingly unhelpful when it comes to recovering Mom’s account.  Their tech support people, i.e. the ones that I get to access by being verified, seem to be all too eager to send you a prepackaged solution directing you to a self-service tool and then closing your ticket.  My thing is this: I’ve already tried all of the self-service tools on my own, and they didn’t really apply to my situation, therefore didn’t make a difference.  After all, that’s why I’m contacting tech support, because all of the self-service stuff didn’t help, and I need an employee to actually do something that I don’t have access to.  If the tech support people are just going to direct me back to the self-service tools, what’s the point of having them?  I could do the self-service tools by myself without their assistance.

And as far as Mom’s account goes, at this point, I believe that as far as getting her going again, I’m just going to set her up with a new Facebook account and start her over from scratch.  The idea is that even if we do regain control of the account, it’s been through so much and gained a bad enough reputation that we wouldn’t want to operate out of it again anyway.  The only thing that we would do after getting control of it would be to close it down.  After all, “Mom” blocked me after I told some people that a scammer was running the account.  Same thing happened to Elyse.  She called “Mom” out and got blocked.  Clearly, scammers know what they are, and don’t like it when you call them out for being scammers, because that’s bad for business.  Who knows who else the scammer has alienated, and how many of Mom’s connections blocked her over it, and we would have no idea about it.  Therefore, I feel like the best thing to do is to start clean, and just send new friend requests to everyone from the new account, and have plenty of materials up there indicating that the new account is really Mom, and that these friend requests are intentional.

So that’s what I’ve been dealing with lately.  And in the end, the moral of the story for everyone involved is simple: slow down and do your research.  For Mom, pay close attention to where things are coming from, and don’t click on things that you don’t recognize.  For the buyers of concert tickets, do your research and vet your sellers to make sure that they’re legitimate.  If everyone would just do that, it would save people like me a whole lot of frustration from having to deal with the fallout from everyone’s mistakes.

Categories: Family, Social media