CINCINNATI – With the Bengals-Steelers wild-card game coming up Saturday, many fans have been scrambling to find tickets.
It’s estimated that more than half the tickets will be printed at home. That’s posing challenges for the Bengals, police and unsuspecting fans. Tuesday, police arrested a man they said was trying to take advantage of Bengals fans ahead of the game.
Police said Mario Riep, 36, of West Chester made phony Bengals tickets for the Jan. 9 game against Pittsburgh. He advertised the tickets on Craigslist and arranged to sell them to undercover police officers for $500, they said.
A potential buyer felt suspicious about the deal and tipped off police. Officers said the price on Riep’s tickets wasn’t valid and the barcode wouldn’t scan properly.
Police charged Riep with two counts of trademark counterfeiting.
In court Wednesday, Riep's attorney said the tickets were real, but it was his first time attempting to sell Bengals tickets.
However, the prosecutor asked for a high bond, saying there had been multiple victims of Riep's counterfeit tickets.
Bond was set at $200,000 with a 10 percent option.
Officials advised any ticket holders to not post pictures of them online, as somebody can copy the digits and barcode to steal the ticket.