DENVER (KDVR) — A father is out $500 after trying to buy his son Colorado Avalanche tickets for his graduation gift.

As Denverites from 1995 to 1997, Edward Husarik and his wife were some of the original Colorado Avalanche fans. Raising their boy Jack as a big Avs fan as well, they figured a surprise trip to Denver would be the perfect graduation gift. 

“We thought what better way than to go see an Avs game, and that’s where it all started,” Husarik said. 

The ticket search started on Craigslist. Husarik said he’s bought tickets on the website before and knew to be careful because he would be purchasing from a private seller.

“The ad that we clicked through Craigslist seemed on the up and up,” Husarik said. “The prices were reasonable, but not too low or high. The communication was very friendly. They were not pushy. They had actual ticket numbers in for the seats in Ball Arena.”

Husarik said everything seemed great until he received a confirmation that his $500 payment on Zelle went through. Then, the seller asked him to send the money for a second time, claiming they didn’t receive it.

“I texted back a few times and even showed screenshot that it definitely had gone through on my end. That’s where the communication stopped.”

Ticket sale fraud tips from the BBB

The Better Business Bureau said that unfortunately, this is a big risk when you bypass a verified ticket website.

“The moment that you send money through like a money transferring app, the possibility of you not getting that money back is pretty high,” Keylen Villagrana, public relations and communications manager for BBB Great Western Pacific, said. 

Experts told the FOX31 Problem Solvers that Zelle is a better choice for sending money directly to family or someone close. It links straight to your bank account allowing a quick transfer, but it doesn’t have the same fraud protection you get when paying with a credit card.

Paypal is another option that offers protection for buyers and investigates scam claims. The BBB said it may take some time to get it your money back during those investigations.

“The recommendation is always to purchase with a credit card because credit cards are always going to have fraud protection in place,” Villagrana said. 

BBB suggests asking the seller for proof of purchase to verify the ticket is real before sending over money. You can use that information to call the box office and verify the ticket.