Pop quiz: is it a good idea to send someone you’ve never met an electronic money transfer of over $5,000?
Of course not. It’s really stupid.
But what if you really, really want to go to the Super Bowl? Does that make it a good idea?
Nope. Still stupid.
A family of 49ers fans did exactly that, however. Desperate to get tickets to the big game in New Orleans this Sunday, Sharon Osgood and her boyfriend took to Craigslist in search of tickets. They found a posting supposedly put up by a Ravens season-ticket holder who claimed to be unable to attend the Super Bowl because he had to stay home with his pregnant wife, so he was selling his tickets. Osgood and her boyfriend sent $5,900 to the guy after exchanging emails and text messages, but (huge surprise) the tickets never materialized.
Instead, Osgood got a package in the mail that included a picture of Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco and the message “Go Ravens! LOL!”
Now, the guy who pulled this scam is a huge dick — that’s not up for debate. We can all hope that he’s found and charged with some kind of crime.
Still, at least a bit of the blame has to fall on Osgood, doesn’t it? Sending money to someone you found on Craigslist without meeting that person and getting the merchandise in your hands… that’s downright idiotic. Does she also respond to all the emails she gets from Nigerian princes?
Osgood’s sob story ran on the news and Ticketmaster CEO Nathan Hubbard saw it. He decided to offer her four free tickets to the game — and even arranged for Osgood’s family to have a special breakfast with retired quarterback and current FOX analyst Troy Aikman. The 49ers also chipped in with a free ticket and the San Jose Mercury News reports that the five tickets are all good seats.
Should we really be rewarding the most gullible members of our society like this? One could argue that Osgood learned her lesson and doesn’t deserve to suffer more than she already has, but is she really the most deserving of these five Super Bowl tickets? Why not give them to a fan who’s equally desperate for tickets, but who hasn’t fallen for any scams and has simply been unable to purchase tickets via legitimate means?
This seems like a case of an individual’s stupidity (or gross naivety, if you prefer) actually being a benefit.