BINGHAMTON, NY— Several days ago, local student Mercedes Carr had received a seemingly innocent friend request on GroupMe from the username “VENMO4CONCERTTICKETS Last Name” and the two began messaging. Unbeknownst to Carr, the user who reached out to her was a professional scammer trying to steal money from her and not actually a Binghamton Student majoring in “University,” like the scammer had claimed to have been. Upon revealing to the cyberthief that she was a fan of Renee Rapp, Carr received a Venmo request from the scammer for eight-hundred dollars which she would go on to accept in exchange for tickets to a supposed Renee Rapp concert. Apparently, the purported Renee Rapp concert had been so exclusive that not even the pop star herself was allowed to post about it on social media, and this aspect had reportedly appealed to Carr. However, after several hours of waiting for the mysterious stranger on GroupMe to send her the tickets, Mercedes Carr soon realized that she had fallen for a scam.
With encouragement from her roommate, Carr had went in-person and reported the incident to the University Police Department (UPD). The scammer unfortunately did not have a profile picture, so sketch artists were left rendering an image of a blue, neckless avatar against a white background. UPD officers were also unable to give a satisfactory explanation to the victim as to why the scammer wanted her to divulge her social security number if there were no concert tickets to begin with, and Carr had reportedly left the police office “still confused.” Carr’s visit with UPD had reportedly gotten more and more emotional as it went on, ending in the victim breaking down crying, alleging that she “didn’t even care about the concert tickets anymore” but simply wanted to “know why [she] got ghosted.”
When reached for comment about the steps UPD intends to take toward rectifying Carr’s situation, Chief Officer Paul Leece released a statement lamenting on how the department “does not have the means to bring anonymous cybercriminals to justice and is powerless to do anything after the crime has been committed.” However, Leece went on in his statement to assure to Carr and her family that he and all members of the UPD understand that her situation is “crazy for real.”
At press time, several reports from the victims’ roommate indicate that Mercedes Carr is searching both Youtube and Instagram for iPhone footage of the Renee Rapp concert that she had missed out on.