Looking back, 27-year-old University of Houston student Jenny Nguyen said she should have known it was too good to be true.
I just wanted the tickets so bad, she said.
The ad she found on Craigslist was enticing: $300 for tickets to see her idol, Justin Bieber, at the Toyota Center in Houston on October 30. He's playing at the American Airlines Center in Dallas the night before.
When Nguyen tried to set up a meeting with the seller, she said he flaked out several times.
He agreed to meet me at a Chili's and he never showed up, she recalled. By the time I got home, I got a text saying he was pulled over for his headlight being out.
They set up other meetings. Then he told me another story about his car overheating. And then he said that his son had cut his knee open and they were in the ER having to get stitches, she said.
The ticket-seller offered to knock $50 off his price because he had strung her along so many times. Nguyen agreed, and finally they met.
I was so observant, she said. I wrote down his license plate number on his vehicle -- a black four-door old Cadillac, beaten up.
It was the same license plate -- and the same vehicle -- that Sam Vykukal had seen a week or so earlier. Vykukal lives in Fort Worth and almost drained her bank account to buy tickets for the Dallas Justin Bieber concert for her seven-year-old granddaughter, only to find out the tickets were fake.
Vykukal even convinced the man to pose for a photo with the fake tickets. When WFAA put the photo on the news, Houston station KHOU picked up the story. It was posted on their website just hours after Nguyen had made her purchase.
Another mom in the Houston area also reported buying fake tickets from the same man.
I was just like, 'This is my story!' Nguyen said after reading Vykukal's account.
All three women said the man used the name Michael Miller. Nguyen and a cousin got the police involved right away. Montgomery County deputies opened an investigation, and Nguyen said they even used her to set up a sting.
We had agreed to meet at a place right on the border of where the [sheriff's department] jurisdiction ends. About 10 minutes before the meeting, he texted and said his car broke down again in a shopping center, she said.
That location was outside of the department's jurisdiction. It took a few minutes to get clearance to move in, but once they did, Miller had already moved out.
I texted him and said, 'OK I can come now!' and his exact words were, 'Hell no. I've left already,' she said.
Miller has not been located, but deputies told Nguyen they will continue to follow leads.
She's still trying to find a way into the Justin Bieber concert.
The $250 I spent could have bought me a legitimate ticket up in the nosebleeds, she said.
Ticketmaster reminds customers that Craigslist is not an authorized dealer. They suggest only buying tickets from websites that offer money-back guarantees.
We've been trying to win local contests, Nguyen said of her desperation to land a ticket. With her fingers crossed, she said, We hope it happens! We're gonna try again today.