Man pays $1,000 for phony Heat tickets

Family flew down from Buffalo to attend game

MIAMI – A Buffalo, NY man bought his younger brother Miami Heat tickets for Christmas, only to find out the tickets were fake and he's out about $1,000.

The entire family flew down from New York to attend the game. But what they didn't know is that they paid big bucks for the fake tickets.

It was supposed to be the perfect gift from one brother to another, but as Local 10 has told you over and over again, don't buy tickets off Craigslist.

"I'm heartbroken," said Robert Amabile, whose brother Anthony gave him the tickets.

"My brother has been a longtime Miami Heat fan," Anthony Amabile said.

He spotted an ad on Craigslist, met up with a man who identified himself as Arturo in the lobby of the hotel where the family is staying near Miami International Airport, and paid him $1,072 for the tickets.

"I was just amazed," Robert said. "It was always my dream to go to a Miami Heat game. I was just shocked."

But the concierge at the hotel, who was arranging for transportation to Thursday night's game took a close look at the tickets and immediately noticed they were fake.

Anthony immediately called the Heat, gave them the barcode number, and they also confirmed the bad news.

"I really believed this guy," Anthony said. "He sounded great on the phone and I was just very naive."

The family called Arturo back.

"He said 'F you' and hung up the phone," Anthony said.

"My dream is crushed," said Robert, who has severe health issues.

In true Miami Heat fashion, the organization called the family and told them there would be four tickets at will call courtesy of a season ticket holder.

Local 10 also called Arturo to see if he would sell us tickets, but no one answered the phone.