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Fake Disneyland tickets seller surrenders to police

April 27, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
An alleged scam artist accused of selling phony Disneyland tickets has surrendered to police - but not before a local woman lost a lot of money after seeing his ad on Craigslist.

A family trip to the happiest place on earth turned into the biggest disappointment on earth when the victim found out the discounted tickets she bought on Craigslist were fakes.

"We are seeing a lot of online crimes like this, and so we're warning people, please, go through the actual amusement park or any other facility, or try and verify it with them before you do any type of money exchange," said Officer Jamie Hogg with the LAPD Harbor Division.

This alleged scam had a twist. The man who met up with the victim at a grocery store and allegedly took her money also allowed the victim to take his photograph.

Edward Anthony Contes. 31, surrendered to police Friday afternoon after the photo was released to the public. He claims the whole thing was a big misunderstanding.

"We have a lot of stupid criminals, so please everyone, be advised, don't trust people just because they'll take a picture," Hogg said.

A Disneyland spokesperson released the following statement:

"So that our guests are not taken advantage of, we strongly advise that they only purchase tickets at Disneyland Resort, through our website or through an authorized seller to ensure that the tickets are valid."

Some Disneyland enthusiasts say they can see why people would go to craigslist to look for a deal. In fact, a quick search pulled up dozens of ads for Disneyland tickets.

"I can't even imagine what that would be like, to show up to disneyland and find out your tickets were fraudulent. We paid a lot of money to come out, spent a lot of money to come out from Montana," said Bill Blackford, a park visitor. "It would just be an absolute horrible situation to be in, so it's just unfortunate there's people out there in the world that do that kind of thing."

Police say Contes has been in trouble for similar incidents before. He was booked for petty theft with priors.


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