Tickets for the Super Bowl were like gold dust (as usual) this year, and the usual army of hucksters, fraudsters, and scammers were out to make a fast buck.
Now it turns out that one shameless hoaxer made a killing after scamming four premium tickets to the event from a charity—by impersonating Ed Sheeran’s manager.
The alleged scammer apparently made a call to Marc Pollick, CEO of sports-related charity The Giving Back Fund, during which he represented himself as Sheeran’s agent and promised to deliver a performance by Sheeran at a charity concert on the eve of the big game in Houston in return for tickets.
TMZ has published a contract that shows that the swindler actually forged Sheeran’s signature on a contract, which specified he would perform two songs, and in return he’d get four suite tickets to SB51, valued at a cool $50,000.
Giving Back representatives actually met the shakedown artist before the event, according to TMZ, and handed over the tickets. But Sheeran did not show up at the event and the big game tickets were sold on to third parties.
The charity belatedly realized it had been diddled—but it could be accused of failing to be suitably suspicious. It is not clear if it checked Sheeran’s publicly available schedule before taking the bait, which shows that Sheeran was performing in Australia on the night of the Super Bowl itself, and again two days before.
But, like all the best scams, the victims no doubt wanted it to be true very much indeed.
Sheeran, a Grammy-winning artist, is arguably one of the hottest songwriting talents on the planet right now. The single “Thinking Out Loud” earned him two Grammy Awards. He has had nine further nominations in the course of his career.
Sheeran performed his new single, “Shape of You,” at the Grammys on Sunday night, thereby reassuring his fans that he has fully recovered after Princess Beatrice accidentally cut his cheek with a ceremonial sword whilst attempting to mock-ennoble another songwriting pal, James Blunt, at a party at Prince Andrew’s house.