Winnipeg police are warning Jets fans to avoid falling victim to ticket scams as another NHL regular season begins tonight.
Police said they don't track the number of Jets ticket fraud cases, but they confirmed it has been an ongoing problem since NHL hockey came back to Winnipeg in 2011.
- September 2011: Charges laid after stolen NHL tickets sold
- December 2011: Man arrested in Winnipeg Jets ticket fraud
- March 2012: Fraudster sold phantom Jets tickets, police say
- March 2013: Winnipeg police lay charges in Jets ticket scam
In a recent case, 20-year-old Jets fan Josh Goodman went to the online classifieds website Kijiji to buy tickets for a couple of games this season.
Goodman told CBC News that an Alberta-based seller offered him four tickets for $700, and he agreed to send the money through an Interac e-transfer.
"Online buying, you know, you always got to be careful but … I trusted the guy a little bit, and I signed up for it," he said Monday.
"It was through my bank [so] I thought it would be, you know, pretty trustworthy."
However, the tickets never arrived. Goodman said the seller disappeared.
"As soon as I sent the money, he just cut off communication. I tried to call, tried to text — nothing," he said.
Winnipeg police Const. Eric Hofley said while Jets ticket fraud has been a steady problem, the money transfer method used in Goodman's case seemed safer.
"Something like an Interac e-transfer, where it's from one bank account to another … [there's] more of an electronic trail for investigators to follow up on," Hofley said.
In a statement to CBC, Interac said e-Transfers are an extremely secure way to send funds, but people should take precautions when sending money to people they don’t know.
“Once a transfer is deposited by the recipient, it cannot be cancelled or reversed by the sender,” said the statement. “Just like it is with cash and cheques, if there is a dispute, it is handled between the two parties.”
Goodman said he learned a lesson about purchasing tickets in the future.
“I’m never going to buy tickets unless I meet the guy in person or use the Jets Ticket Exchange,” he said. “I’m never going to risk it anymore. It’s not worth it.”
There have been no leads in Goodman's case to date.
The Winnipeg Jets will face off against the Edmonton Oilers on CBC's Hockey Night in Canada starting at 9 p.m. CT.