A scam artist's greed narrowly crushed an Overland Park, KS, girl's childhood dream to see her generation's pop icon, Justin Bieber, in concert.
In a KCTV 5 Exclusive Emily Rittman explains how a charitable organization stepped up after a crook took off with her mom's money and left her with fake tickets.
Thursday afternoon Rittman gathered with the organization to surprise an 8-year-old girl with the one thing she has desperately wanted - tickets to the Oct. 26 Justin Bieber concert that sold out in minutes.
"I would beg as much as I could," Hannah told Rittman when asked how she would ask her mom to take her to the concert.
What Hannah didn't know is her mom tried very hard to surprise her with tickets. When she couldn't, her mom turned to Craigslist and got ripped off by a scammer who may have targeted dozens.
Hannah's mom met with the ticket seller in person and gave him more than $100 for two tickets she later found out were fake. She made a police report and turned to KCTV5 to warn others. Click here for that story.
"He has been a very busy guy and he has scammed a lot of people out of a lot of money for these tickets. It's really unfortunate this is a show for tweens, little girls who have Justin Bieber pictures all over their room. This isn't a grown up show," said the women who asked not to reveal her identity.
But Thursday afternoon, the girl got her wish.
Members of the American Children's Society, an organization that helps children with cancer, saw KCTV5's story and decided they had to help.
"We are not going to stand by and let an 8-year-old girl be victimized or growing up thinking people that do bad things are going to be able to affect our lives. We want to send the message to them good is always going to win in the end," Mike Lane with the American Children's Society said.
Little Hannah had no idea she would soon be holding the two tickets.
"Your mom was really sad so she called us and this nice man here from American Children's Society has a surprise for you," Rittman said.
"We help kids all day seven days a week and a broken heart and a broken dream is just the same as a broken arm so here are two tickets for you and your mom," Lane said to Hannah to the sounds of joyous screams.
After hearing the wonderful news, Hannah quickly turned around and made sure to thank the other person who will be by her side on her big night at her first concert that almost never happened. She wrapped her arms around her mother's waist and buried her head in her mom's arms.
Shortly after the team left, Hannah's mom called KCTV5 and told Rittman that Hannah was running around the whole house, playing all of her Bieber songs. She said the family is so thankful to the American Children's Society.
Parents are being warned that the scammer may still be out there. He is selling tickets that have a picture of Justin Bieber on them. Officials recommend that parents take a close look at tickets they bought online. Real tickets do not have a picture of Bieber on them. The serial numbers were also the exact same on multiple tickets sold.
Police advise to use caution when buying from an individual seller and to verify the tickets are real before exchanging cash.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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