Fake Justin Bieber tickets burn Fort Worth grandmother

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by TERESA WOODARD

WFAA

Posted on October 12, 2012 at 11:43 PM

FORT WORTH -- "I'm sorry. That mailbox is full," said the automated voice on the other end of the line.

"Mailbox is full," repeated Sam Vykukal of Fort Worth. "Mailbox is full."

"I've probably called his phone 500 times," she said. "This was 501."

She's texted him too.

"How do you live with yourself?" read the text. "This was a child's wish. Really? You are cruel."

All the disgust she's filled with now used to be joy; joy for her seven-year-old granddaughter, Hailey.

"If you go to her bedroom, she has a six-foot tall Justin Bieber cutout standing over her bed," Vykukal explained.

Last week, as Hailey was saying her bedtime prayers her grandmother recalled, "She was 'God bless'ing' Mom and Dad and everybody, and she said, 'God bless JB.' And I said, 'Who is JB?' She goes, 'Justin Bieber!'"

The next day, Vykukal started looking for tickets to Justin Bieber's concert in Dallas on October 29. She found some for $350 on Craigslist.

"I should have known," she said. "Others were outrageous. $800 or $1000. It was just crazy."

"I thought I had struck gold," she said.

Vykukal exchanged text messages with the seller, who told her he had two extra tickets and he just wanted to get face value for them.

"He had a good line. A real good line," Vykukal said.

He claimed the extra tickets were supposed to be used by his daughter's friend and her mother, but he said that family had just found out the child needed surgery the week of the concert and wouldn't be able to attend.

Vykukal said after a day of trying to scrape together the money, she realized she wouldn't be able to get $350. So she texted the seller, who she knew as Mike Miller, and told him she couldn't find the cash. He asked her to call him, and then he asked how much she could afford.

"I told him I only had $240. He said he'd go ahead and take it, and that I could pay him the night of the concert, since we were going to be there together with him, his wife, and his daughter," she said. "He said he trusted me. He didn't think I would rip him off, because we would be there together."

"I went to the bank, I had $263 in the account, and I took out $240," she said.

She met him at a Dallas McDonald's, and even showed him her receipt from the bank.

"He said, 'You're doing it for a good cause. You're doing it for a child,'" she recalled. "He even asked to see a picture of my granddaughter."

And then she took a picture of him, posing, holding the tickets.

"I wanted to show Hailey who made her dreams come true," she said.

After we sent the photo to Ticketmaster, they confirmed with certainty that the tickets Vykukal purchased are fake. Ticketmaster knew immediately, because of some of the wording on the tickets.

"Something in my gut told me that and I should have listened to it," Vykukal said. "I take total blame. It was my fault. I wanted the tickets so badly, and he seemed so sincere. And well, now here we are today."

Vykukal continues to call the two numbers she had for Miller.

"I've tried having other people call too," she said. "Matter of fact, my son called it the other day. A Hispanic gentleman answered and acted like he couldn't speak English."

News 8 texted and called "Mike Miller" repeatedly too, to try to get an explanation. There is a chance he didn't know the truth about the tickets. His mailbox was still full when we called. And he never responded to the texts.

A Ticketmaster spokesperson said she hates to hear stories like Vykukal's. She hopes this is a reminder to fans to only purchase from trusted websites which offer a money-back guarantee. Craigslist is not one of those sites.

"I took Hailey's mom to the New Kids on the Block concert 20 years ago. And this was something I wanted to do for Hailey," Vykukal said. "Unfortunately, it didn't work out as well as we thought it would. When I told Hailey we weren't going, I just told her there were good people and bad people in the world, and Grandma just called a bad person."

E-mail twoodard@wfaa.com

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