Hi Fellow Macca Fans:
I had a membership with paulmccartney.com that began in 2002, but recently when I went to sign in to the site it would not recognize my email address or password. (Maybe that's because I changed my last name a few years ago.) So, I began a new membership recently and here I am.
I've been a devoted fan of The Beatles And Paul McCartney since I was fourteen when I first saw the Beatles Anthology and he and his former band are the reason I learned to play guitar, piano, bass and am learning drums, ukulele, and harmonica. They're also the reason that I began writing, recording and performing music.
I've had the privilege of seeing Paul McCartney live in concert four times in my life (2 shows back to back at Madison Square Garden in 2002, 1 at MSG in 2005, & 1 Show In Arizona in 2010.) and they were by far the best concerts that I've ever been to. It is in this vein, that I would like to offer a warning to all fellow Macca fans.
Naturally, I was very excited when I first heard that the Freshen Up Tour was coming to North America. But, it seemed the only show that I might be able attend was Paul's concert in Phoenix, Arizona on June 26, 2019 since it was probable but not certain, that I might be visiting a relative in that city on the evening of the concert. Therefore, when the presale began for tickets to that show for www.paulmccartney.com members, I did not try to use my PMFan promo code to get a seat to the concert. As far as I can recall, they went on sale in January or February of this year, and at that time, I had no idea whether I would be in AZ for the show, so I did not buy a ticket because I did not want to spend money on something that there was a good likelihood I might not be able to attend. (I've only recently discovered that one can transfer tickets to others on Ticketmaster or that one can trade or sell tickets to a ticket broker. Had I know that, I probably would have purchased a ticket anyway and then if I could not go, would have availed myself of those options, if going to the show was not a possbility.)
Well, I'm in AZ now and seeing as the show is coming up I began feverishly to look for tickets. Finding only nosebleeds being sold for what I felt were exorbitant prices on Ticketmaster, Stubhub, Ebay et cetera, I went looking on Craigslist. I had had past luck finding good seats to Sting and Jerry Seinfeld concerts on Craigslist so I felt reasonably comfortable doing so again for Sir Paul. Thus, I was not too surpised when on last Tuesday June 18, I saw someone who called himself Stephen (pronounced Stefahn) was offering seats on the floor, in Section D seats 14-16 for $260 a piece I contacted him. (I wanted my mother to go with me because she has always wanted to see Paul live and never has, but since she was unable to go, I needed only one ticket. I was also somewhat thrilled by the prospect of the seats since, if I was able to get a ticket, I would be in the best seat that I ever had for one of Sir Paul's shows.) I informed him that I only needed 1 ticket and asked if he would be willing to sell it to me for $180. He informed me that he would sell me 1 ticket but only for $200. I could just about afford that, so I agreed. He said that he was on his way home and that when he arrived there, I could pay him through Apple Pay and he would electronically transfer the ticket to me via my Ticketmaster acoount since he had one too. I sent him a text message with my Ticketmaster information and waited for him to contact me.
A few moments later, I received a text from him stating that he was at home with his fiance on the Ticketmaster website, was ready to make the transfer, and that he would do so once I sent the money to his fiance's Apple pay account via her phone number. I told him that I would not send him any money unless I had a ticket first and that I would like to know his full name so that I could verify his Ticketmaster account. He claimed that it was Stephen Carter, but was a little put out that I wanted that information. I told him that I did not want to get scammed so I was covering all my bases. He then offered to send me a screenshot of the ticket to verify its authenticity and that he did indeed have tickets to the show. I told him that once I saw the screenshot and verified the ticket's authenticity, I would send him half the $200 he was asking for and would send him the remaining $100 when I received the ticket. He agreed to that stating that it was "fine and also fair." The screenshot arrived and after I performed an internet search, the ticket seemed to be authentic. I sent him the $100 and asked him to electronically transfer the ticket via Ticketmaster. ( I've had friends who have done electronic transfers with people selling tickets through Ticketmaster on Craigslist with no problems before, so I did not feel too uncomfortable doing so.) Again, I waited but no response came from him.
I was beginning to feel a little wary of the whole situation so I called him again. He answered and said that he was having trouble doing the transfer, but I should have the ticket shortly. That was the last that I heard from him. My repeated texts and messages to the phone number that he listed on Craigslist went unanswered and no ticket was in my Ticketmaster account. When I called the number that he claimed was that of his "fiance" in order to faciltate the Apple Pay payment, a voice mail greeting in presumably his voice came on that said, "You've reached the real live killer. I know where you live. I know where you sleep. Don't leave no messages bitch, or I'll come for you." I was a little unnerved by the last message, but felt it was more him trying to scare people off than anything else. However, one thing was for certain, I had been scammed out of $100 and would not be getting a ticket to Sir Paul's concert.
I contacted my bank and was fortunately able to have the money that I lost credited to my account while they investiaged what happened. Furthermore, I contacted Craigslist and believe that they had his listing shut down after I informed them what had transpired. Finally, I even contacted the Phoenix Police Department to inform them of what took place, see if they could find him and I could press charges against him, but they could not help me.
I'm telling this story now because I want to warn all fellow Paul McCartney fans to be extremely careful of any tickets that they plan to buy for his concerts through Craigslist. DO NOT buy tickets from anyone claiming to give them to you via an electronic transfter under any circumstance unless you're buying directly through Ticketmaster and not Craigslist. If they're willing to meet you somewhere to sell you tickets you should make certain that the transaction takes place in a very public, safe, neutral area. I'm giving this advice because I don't want people to have happen to them what happened to me. I did not go into this naively. My past experiences made this seem like a relatively safe option.
In closing, since there are a few days left until Sir Paul's concert in Phoenix, and since the money that I lost was refunded, I'm hoping to get a legitimate ticket, somehow, somewhere. If not, that would be an enormous disappointment. Either way, I am saddend by the fact that trying to go see Paul McCartney, who is, always has been and forever will be, an incalculable inspiration for me turned out to be such a disheartening turn of events.