3 On Your Side

'Fake' Bruno Mars ticket leaves family singing the blues

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Miguel Castaneda and his wife Teresa are music lovers—they even call music their hobby. But Teresa’s favorite artist is Bruno Mars.

So, one could imagine Teresa’s excitement when she discovered that Bruno Mars would be performing in Phoenix this past November.

“I talked to my husband. I need to go,” Teresa said. 

Tickets sold out fast. So, Miguel turned to the Internet and came across a woman on Facebook who was selling a single Bruno Mars ticket.

“She agreed to sell it to me for $400, so right away I jumped on the spot and said I'd go and pick it up,” Miguel said. 

Miguel said he was a little concerned about buying a bad or counterfeit ticket for $400. However, he said that when the seller agreed to have him come to her home in Gilbert, he felt a little more at ease.

“The lady wanted to meet me at the Starbucks and I didn't feel comfortable with that. So, I asked her if I could go to her house,” Miguel said. 

Miguel said he met the woman at her house, stood right in her kitchen and paid her $400 for the ticket—the same one he later gifted to his wife as a surprise.

“I was like, ‘Oh, my God,’” Teresa said. 

But on the night of the big concert, Teresa never even got into the arena to see her favorite star perform because she was told at the front gate that the ticket her husband had purchased was an invalid duplicate ticket.

“They told me that someone else used my ticket like 20 minutes ago. They just put on my ticket ‘void.’ I don't know what it means,” Teresa said.

Apparently, the paper ticket that Miguel had purchased was a copy.

So, 3 On Your Side got involved. We went to the home where Miguel bought the ticket, but no one ever answered. However, we did speak with a woman on the phone; she said she was the one who sold Miguel the concert ticket.

She told us that she has no idea how Miguel wound up with a duplicate ticket and claimed that she is a religious woman who would never pull such a scam. She maintained that she sold him a valid ticket. 

Miguel said he's so angry and that he's filed a small claims suit against the woman in hopes of recouping his $400.

“Honestly, don't trust anybody. If you don't buy it from somewhere that can guarantee you 100 percent, just don't do it. It's not worth it,” Miguel said. 

We contacted Ticketmaster and they said that this is a very common problem and they are working on modern technology of digital tickets to help reduce this problem. Out of good will, they are sending the Castanedas a $100 gift card.

Here is more information on digital ticket technology: 

What is Ticketmaster Presence? 

Ticketmaster Presence replaces traditional paper tickets with digital passes-- this will streamline live event venue operations with real-time configurations, foster personalized fan engagement, simplify the ticket management experience, protect against fraud, and enhance security.


• Ticketmaster Presence is currently in production at nearly 60 venues across North America. To date, over 10 million fans have entered venues using Presence software technology without any instances of fraud.

• Orlando City Soccer Club said its early trial use of Presence has essentially eliminated ticket fraud at its venue, increased mobile-based entry from 11 percent of its attendance to 61 percent and more than tripled the number of new fan names in its customer database.

• Presence is slated to continue rollout through 2017 and 2018, with global expansion.

Below is more information on Presence:

• Ticketmaster Presence is the next generation venue access control and fan engagement platform.

• The cutting-edge authentication technology leverages an easy-to-use “tap and go” venue entry system connected directly to the fan attending the event. It is like the way you would board a flight with a mobile phone.

• Presence is built on proximity-based digital technology like NFC and RFID, and in some cases, even sound. It is built with modern day behaviors in mind – simple, easy to use, mobile and digital.

• Venues install Presence, including mobile hardware and revamped software for real-time map-based attendance reporting, event setup and enhanced ticket management. Fans can easily view, transfer -- using text, email and Facebook -- and post tickets for sale.

Ticketmaster’s native SDK allows for clubs or venues to offer complete ticket management from their mobile app. 

• If a venue has Ticketmaster Presence installed, fans can easily enter using the following ways: 

Smart device: This technology is already present in smart devices, like smartphones and smart watches. Fans will be able to tap their device against a token reader at a venue entry point to gain access to the event.

Smart ticket: This technology is embedded in Ticketmaster’s new “smart ticket.” The new smart ticket is wallet-sized and has a built-in unique identification chip. Fans simply tap it against a venue scanner to enter an event.

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LiAna EnriquezLiAna Enriquez is a native of Arizona. She attended Marcos de Niza High School in Tempe, Arizona.

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LiAna Enriquez

She then went on to Arizona State University. She graduated summa cum laude from the University’s prestigious, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism with a degree in Journalism/Mass Communications with an emphasis in broadcasting.

LiAna started her news career with KTVK-TV as an intern. She loved it so much she never left! She has been with the station for fourteen years. Currently, she is the consumer investigative producer for Arizona’s top rated consumer segment, 3 On Your Side and is also a general assignment reporter. LiAna also reported for the station’s top rated high school sports show, ‘The Varsity Zone’ for five years.

In her free time LiAna enjoys cooking, watching movies, quading, and traveling. But her absolute favorite thing to do, is to hang out with her husband and beautiful daughters. She is a softball mom. She loves the beach and waterfalls! Her favorite team is the Arizona Cardinals and of course, the Sun Devils.

Life motto: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

If you have a story idea for LiAna, Send her an email .

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Gary HarperGary Harper is the senior consumer and investigative reporter for 3 On Your Side at KTVK-TV.

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Gary Harper
3 On Your Side

With more than 20 years of television experience, Gary has established himself as a leader in the industry when it comes to assisting viewers and resolving their consumer-related issues. His passion and enthusiasm have helped him earn an Emmy for Best Consumer Reporter from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He’s also garnered several Emmy nominations

He has negotiated resolutions with companies of all sizes, including some of the biggest corporations in the nation.

Gary has successfully recouped more than $1 million for viewers around the state, making 3 On Your Side one of the most popular segments on KTVK and the station's Web site.

He's best known for investigating and confronting unscrupulous contractors. In fact, many of his news reports have led to police investigations and jail time for those who were caught. Viewers, as well as the companies and people he investigates, regard him as consistently being thorough and fair.

Gary has been with KTVK-TV since 1997. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, he worked for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was as an anchor and reporter.

Gary is from Chicago, but launched his television career in Lubbock, Texas, after earning a broadcast journalism degree from Texas Tech University. Following his graduation, he was quickly hired by KLBK-TV in Lubbock, where he enterprised and broke numerous exclusive reports. His aggressive reporting in Texas helped garner him Best Reporter by the Associated Press.

Gary has been married since 1994 and is the proud father of two sons. When he's not helping viewers, Gary is busy catching up on his favorite college and professional football teams as well as cheering on his beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders.

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