Marina Civic Center Hurt by Scalping

PANAMA CITY-- Marina Civic Center box office manager Mary DeCarmo says nearly two-thirds of the people buying tickets to their events buy online.

"So you're at home doing a search online for tickets to a show, and these third party retailers will come up in a search before we do," says Exec. Dir. of the Bay Arts Alliance Jennifer Jones.

The problem is it's such an easy prank to fall for. You Google something that makes sense like, "Bill Cosby Panama City, Florida. Before you know it, you're buying tickets for $132.

"The Bill Cosby show is actually only 39 for the balcony," says DeCarmo.

"When we book him, we are not allowed to charge over a certain amount, because he wants his show to be accessible," says Jones.

"So individuals that are doing it illegally, what they do is super-impose the real office and put it on some sort of fake website," says Bay Co. Sheriff's Srgt. Paul Vecker.

"So then you buy them, then the scalper can turn around and come here and buy the tickets. So he is not taking any risk," says Jones.

Ulitmately the venue suffers, because either people are scared off by high ticket prices, or they loose the communty's trust.

"We really do understand we can't saturate the market with too many shows or too high of ticket prices. And we hope we know who our customers are and we hope that they know that," says Jones