The Gutierrez family from Tomball was supposed to leave on Thursday for an overnight stay in New Braunfels and a trip to the Schlitterbahn water park, but some bogus tickets on Craigslist forced them to cancel their vacation.
"The kids were pretty disappointed but what can you do?" said Carl Gutierrez.
He and his wife have five kids and were looking to save money on tickets so they turned to Craigslist. They found a man selling seven for $175, seven regular priced day tickets typically run about $320.
"He assured her that they were legitimate he even sent a receipt from Schlitterbahn," Gutierrez said. "Everything looked like it was on the up and up."
Until Carl's wife called the water park to confirm the tickets, she said workers informed her they had already been used.
It appears the Craigslist seller made multiple copies of a real ticket that he bought online. There's a bar code at the bottom that is only good for one use and, according to Gutierrez, these tickets had already been scanned.
"They told her the tickets had already been used, they were no longer valid," Gutierrez said. "I thought I was somewhat savvy when it comes to this kind of stuff. I'm familiar with the internet and Craigslist and all the bad stuff that goes on."
Schlitterbahn has a warning on their website telling customers that tickets purchased through a third party are not authorized. A spokesperson told KPRC Local 2 the best way to find deals is to call the water park directly or purchase tickets through HEB or Kroger grocery stores. Buying tickets online, from someone you don't know, is never a good idea.
"I figured I would be able to avoid something like this," said Gutierrez. "But anybody can fall victim. The scam artists are getting better and better."