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A Bay Area woman who got scammed out of nearly $6,000 - then was given free Super Bowl tickets after all - ended up paying it forward when she gave an extra game ticket to a stranger named "Ray from LA."
Sharon Osgood of Hayward, who earned her 15 minutes and more last week when she went public after being scammed out of $5,900 for buying non-existent Super Bowl tickets, said Tuesday she was grateful to have paid it forward.
She still doesn't know Ray's last name, but she was thrilled to be able to make this Los Angeles Niners fan so happy.
"He dropped to one knee, and said, 'You don't know what this means to me,' and then he just cried," Osgood said. "And I told him, 'Yes, I do.'"
Osgood's tale first reported by the Mercury News began when she was scouring the Internet looking for good deals on Super Bowl tickets so she could see her beloved San Francisco 49ers play the Baltimore Ravens in New Orleans.
She found an offer on Craiglist. She said someone named "R. Thomas Pham Quan" was selling four tickets for $5,900. He told her that he was a tax attorney in Boca Raton, Fla., and a Baltimore Ravens season ticket holder. She said she texted and spoke on the phone with this person for four days, she said. She wired the money to the man's credit union, and a few days later received a FedEx package with no Super Bowl tickets inside. Instead, Osgood was sent a picture of quarterbacks Colin Kaepernick and Joe Flacco with a message underneath that read: "Enjoy the game!!!! Go Ravens!!!
While some people criticized Osgood for being so gullible, she said that she had spent four days texting and talking to this person and felt like she trusted him.
Others though, took pity on her.
Ticketmaster gave her four free tickets and the 49ers gave her an extra for her nephew's girlfriend, who fell ill just before the Big Game with an ear infection. Osgood said she tried to return the ticket to the 49ers, but the team said just to keep it.
That's the ticket she gave to Ray. She had befriended his entire family in the parking lot outside the game, where many families who traveled in RVs had parked. The family had no money or tickets to get into the game; they simply wanted to be there. Since Ray was from California, Osgood said she felt some kinship with him.
As for her, her boyfriend and her other two relatives, they had a blast at the game, despite the Ravens beating the 49ers 34-31.
"It was amazing," she said, adding that she sat in section 531, row 4, just behind the camera crews.
On Tuesday, she said that she had just spoken to an Alameda County sheriff's detective and her case is going "very, very good," declining to give more details. She's hoping that they soon catch the person who duped her.
"I know there are a lot of naysayers out there," Osgood said. "I know they're saying, 'How do we know she didn't scam Ticketmaster?' I can't wait till they bring this buy back here and prosecute him."