Not too long ago the sporting world was enthralled by a story about a young man who had a trusting relationship with someone he had only spoken with on the phone. After it was revealed that the person on the other end of the line was a hoax, it was hard to believe that this young man had not seen any red flags.
Well, here we go again. But not to worry -- this story has a happy ending.
After wiring $5,900 to a man she met on Craigslist for what she thought were four Super Bowl tickets, 49ers season-ticket holder Sharon Osgood was heartbroken to receive a package filled not with tickets but with a taunting note. Some conniving Baltimore supporter had sent a photo of quarterbacks Colin Kaepernick, Joe Flacco and the Super Bowl logo.
"Enjoy the game!!!! Go Ravens!!! LOL," the note read.
Osgood's cautionary tale was reported by the San Jose Mercury News this week, and before long Ticketmaster CEO Nathan Hubbard had heard Osgood's story. So Hubbard did everything in his power to make it up to her, and more.
The Mercury News is reporting that Hubbard has given Osgood four tickets to the Super Bowl and has arranged for her and her boyfriend to have breakfast with former Dallas Cowboys quarterback and current Fox color commentator Troy Aikman.
According to the Mercury News, Osgood, a 49-year-old utility worker, broke down when she heard the news.
"My heart literally was in my throat; it was fluttering," Osgood said. "I was like, 'Oh my God, I can't believe this is happening.' I can't put into words how grateful I am."
Last week Osgood emailed, texted and spoke on the phone with a man who claimed he was a corporate tax attorney living in Boca Raton, Fla. He said he was a Baltimore Ravens fan, and he couldn't go to the game because his wife was eight months pregnant. So Osgood wired him the money.
"I'm just sick -- like, physically sick," Osgood said upon receiving the prankster's note. "All over the envelope it says 'go Ravens' — even on the FedEx label."
While this particular instance of fraud ended on a happy note, Hubbard says stories like Osgood's are all too familiar.
"I wish I could tell you that we don't hear this story a lot, but we do," Hubbard said. "There are a lot of places that fans go to buy tickets that aren't safe, and they get completely exploited. And it drives us crazy."