Patrons scammed out of Masters badges

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Monday, April 15, 2013

HEPHZIBAH, Ga. (WRDW) -- For one family, it was the perfect father-son gift until Erik Hanson realized the badge he bought didn't exist.

"I was pretty angry. He was irate. My dad had flown all the way in from Hawaii," Hanson said.

What was supposed to be a day of golf pros and pimento cheese sandwiches turned into a major disappointment for Hanson and his father.

Instead of enjoying the green grass at Augusta National, someone else was enjoying Hanson's green after he paid more than a thousand dollars for a Masters badge he never got.

"Around November I saw the post on Craigslist with tickets that were cheap but not suspiciously cheap," he said.

So, Hanson contacted the guy, but he didn't stop there. Before handing over any money, Hanson says he looked into the guy that had posted the ad.

"His company had been incorporated for several years, there were no scam reports, he had a LinkedIn page, his company had a Facebook page. Everything seemed to check out," he said.

Hanson says they stayed in contact through the weeks leading up to the tournament, exchanging e-mails confirming their deal. He even received a signed contract from the person who posted the ad.

"Got the signed one from him, signed mine, sent it back and sent the money," he explained.

The deal was done -- or so he thought.

"I called him two days before the day I was actually supposed to pick up the tickets, and it went straight to his voicemail box which was full," he said.

So he went back to Craigslist and found this: "Typed in his name and scam and Craigslist posts up about a Masters ticket scam. That's when I found out that it was multiple people that were now reporting this same person."

Detectives in Ballwin, Mo., confirmed there is an investigation regarding the Craigslist scam. It's in Missouri because the person who posted the ad lives there.

At this point, details are still limited because it is an open investigation. The police department says the FBI is also assisting.

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