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Counterfeit ring scams Packers' fans on game day

By Brendan O'Brien

MILWAUKEE (Reuters) - The toughest ticket in Titletown has just got a little more tricky to score as a counterfeit ring is targeting eager Green Bay Packers fans outside Lambeau Field, police said on Tuesday.

During the pre-game festivities before the past two home games, six to eight individuals have used counterfeit money to buy tickets or have sold expired tickets, according to Lieutenant Jody Crocker of the Ashwaubenon Public Safety Department.

The scheme begins with a member of the ring using counterfeit cash to buy a ticket from an unsuspecting seller outside of the stadium before the game begins, according to Crocker.

After making the purchase, the buyer darts away through the crowd, meeting up with another member of the ring. The pair switches clothing and then heads back into the crowd, attempting to sell the tickets, Crocker explained.

Before the last home game, the ring also sold half a dozen expired e-tickets, originally for games in 2009, Crocker said.

"It's somewhat of a game of Pong going on outside of Lambeau Field," he added.

After winning the Super Bowl last season, Green Bay has navigated through the 2012 campaign in dominating fashion, winning 13 straight games before losing last week to the Kansas City Chiefs.

"With the popularity and the want and need for these tickets growing, the opportunity for scams and theft also grows," Crocker said.

The Packers renew their rivalry with the Chicago Bears on Christmas night at Lambeau Field. Online brokers are charging at least $200 per ticket to the game.

"It's a golden opportunity on Christmas Day to have this happen," he said. "This is a great recipe to be ripped off in."

Packers tickets have always been a hot commodity. The team has been sold out on season tickets since 1960, and a waiting list now stands at 93,000 names. Fans who received the right to buy tickets this year had been on the waiting list for 35 years.

(Editing by Tim Gaynor)