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Augusta-area sheriff's office on lookout for fake Masters tickets

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The secondary ticket market might be more active than normal as Masters Week arrives and more golf fans than normal lack access to the exclusive tournament.

The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office is warning people about scams and fake tickets this year, due to the limited number of patrons allowed into the tournament. Usually, ticket scalpers set up along Washington Road leading up to the tournament, but this year it has remained fairly empty, just like in November.

In January, Augusta National Golf Club announced it would allow a limited number of patrons in this April due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic postponed the 2020 Masters to November, when it was contested without fans in attendance.

Capt. Scott Gay said they won’t let their guard down.

“I think people will try anything to gain access into the Augusta National Golf Club,” he said. “There are a number of security features in place to prevent fake or invalid credentials from entering the property.”

Golf fans during a practice round prior to the 2011 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. (File photo)

Georgia law prohibits the buying or selling of tickets within 2,700 feet of a venue.The boundaries from Augusta National extend from around Taco Bell on Washington Road to Calhoun Expressway and from Surrey Center on Berckmans Road to just past the fire station on Alexander Drive.

The distance is measured from the golf course, not the parking lots.

Although Augusta National is the only authorized seller of Masters tickets, the sheriff’s office enforces state law and not the golf club’s policy, Gay said.

“The only people that can sell Augusta National tickets, by policy, is the Augusta National. They are taking a risk if they buy it second-handedly, it’s a huge risk,” Gay said.

Gay said they had no security problems in November and expects another quiet Masters Week this year. In 2019, the sheriff’s office made no ticket scalping arrests.

Gay said people should report any fake credentials or tickets to local authorities, so they can investigate and see how they are being transmitted and disseminated. He said people need to be aware of potential scams.

“If it’s too good to be true, it’s probably a scam,” he said. “Don’t fall for something that is too good to be true.”

original article link https://golfweek.usatoday.com/2021/04/03/masters-augusta-national-sheriffs-office-lookout-fake-tickets/

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