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Scammer posing as deploying Fort Carson soldier, selling fake concert tickets

Victims take to social media to warn others
Fort Carson soldier collapses, dies during training
Posted at 4:40 PM, Sep 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-05 22:14:25-04

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — All the victims wanted were concert tickets, but their stories are the same. It started with someone claiming to be a Fort Carson soldier about to deploy who can't use his concert tickets.

"He was getting deployed, and he was trying to sell the tickets really fast," said Paige Salles of Colorado Springs.

She met someone on Bumble who claimed to be a soldier named Gavin Pobst.

"I see people selling tickets like that here all the time, especially in Colorado Springs. They buy these tickets, they get deployed somewhere and can't go anymore," Palles said.

When she and her friends got to the concert in Denver last May, they found out the tickets were fake, and they were in good company.

"We were sitting there talking to the girls, and they're showing me their tickets, and they're the exact same ones that I have," said Salles.

She took to Facebook to warn others, but found out the problem was much bigger.

"We join this little Facebook group, and there's over 60 of us," Salles said.

Dozens of people from all over the country are sharing their stories on social media about buying tickets from "Gavin."

Kenzie Bourbon in Missouri said she contacted Fort Carson's Criminal Investigation Division to report a crime, but has received little response as more people report being scammed in the Facebook group.

"It's really just a principle of nothing is being done to make him stop doing this, and there's really just kind of been no awareness brought to it at all," Bourbon said.

Contact Denver7 reached out to Gavin Pobst and to Army representatives with no response on the holiday weekend.

Salles said she paid twice for her Morgan Wallen concert tickets, arguing that even if victims can't get their money back, they should still get some kind of justice,.

"This is kind of a big deal. Maybe not individually, but grand total, over $8,000-worth that we know about," said Salles. "My intent with this is just to get the word out. Just be careful what you're who you're talking to online what you're buying."

When buying tickets to an event, the Better Business Bureau has these tips:

  • Purchase from the venue whenever possible
  • Consider your source. Know the difference between a professional ticket broker (a legitimate and accredited reseller), a ticket scalper (an unregulated and unlicensed ticket seller), and a scammer selling scam tickets
  • Buy only from trusted vendors
  • Know the refund policy. You should only purchase tickets from a ticket reseller that provides clear details about the terms of the transaction. Sellers should disclose to the purchaser, prior to purchase, the location of the seats represented by the tickets, either orally or by reference to a seating chart; and, if the tickets are not available for immediate access to the purchaser, disclose when the tickets will ship or be available for pick up.
  • Use payment methods that come with protection. Always use a credit card so you have some recourse if the tickets are not as promised. Debit cards, wire transfer or cash transactions are risky; if the tickets are fraudulent, you won’t be able to get your money back.
  • Be wary of advertisements. When you search the web for online tickets, advertisements for cheap tickets will often appear. Use good judgment; some of these ads are going to be ticket scams, especially if the prices are low.
  • If you’re unsure, verify your tickets. Pay a visit to the arena where the event will be held. Present your ticket to “Will Call” (customer service) and they can verify if your ticket is legitimate and show you how to tell if a ticket is fake.

Editor's note: Denver7 seeks out audience tips and feedback to help people in need, resolve problems and hold the powerful accountable. If you know of a community need our call center could address, or have a story idea for our investigative team to pursue, please email us at contact7@thedenverchannel.com or call (720) 462-7777. Find more Contact Denver7 stories here.