New York

Scammers Selling Fake Tickets to See Pope, Cuomo Says

Ahead of Pope Francis' visit to New York City this September, Gov. Cuomo is warning those who plan to see the Pope that fake tickets are being sold by scam artists.

The Archdiocese of New York said tickets won't be sold for the scheduled events and will only be made available free-of-charge through Catholic parishes. Other dioceses, including ones in Brooklyn, Rockville Centre, Albany, Syracuse, Ogdensburg, Rochester and Buffalo, will also get tickets for their respective parishes.

Scam artists try to sell lost or stolen tickets, counterfeit tickets and tickets for non-existent events. They also create fake online auctions and fake websites.

Those looking for tickets are urged to check the validity of their ticket sources, steer clear of suspicious websites and avoid wire transfers, as they are the preferred method of payment for scam artists.

Scammers have been known to target Hispanics and the elderly, according to a report by Voices of NY.

Joe Zwilling, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of New York, said that he doesn't expect fraudulant tickets to be a big problem this year and that they weren't a problem during past papal visits in 1995 and 2008. He said it's helpful to spread the word nonetheless.

Francis will be in the city on Sept. 24 and 25 as part of his U.S. visit. Among other events, the Pope will hold an evening prayer at St. Patrick's Cathedral and Mass at Madison Square Garden.

He's also stopping in Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia. It will be the United States' first papal visit since 2008.

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