THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - Over the weekend, folks in South Georgia took to social media to express excitement over a big-name country music star set to perform in Thomasville-- except it all turned out to be a scam.
The manager of the Rendezvous Lounge and Grille in Thomasville was contacted by someone who she thought was the manager of Luke Bryan.
In the span of about five hours, it all fell apart, due to the power of social media.
The Flint River Band said they were a little skeptical because this is a country music star who won entertainer of the year, but they said in the music industry you just never know. They were monitoring the Facebook feed just like everyone else to stay up to date on the proposed concert.
"The industry can be cutthroat. There are just so many people out there just waiting to scam you," said Bryan McKenzie, booking agent for The Flint River Band.
Imagine you are an up-and-coming band, waiting for your big hit, and all of a sudden a message pops up asking you to perform with Luke Bryan.
"We set up a gig, and you know we have to take every gig seriously, and that was the case when Gloria contacted me," said McKenzie.
Gloria Johnson is a manager at the Rendezvous Lounge and Grille in Thomasville. She posted a few weeks ago, hoping to attract national artist to the Rose City, and along came a man she thought was Luke Bryan's agent.
"You know we wanted to open for Luke Bryan, I mean who wouldn't? But at the same time, we were like is this real?" said McKenzie.
Johnson thought it was real as well, posting to her Facebook page offering tickets priced at $120 to $150.
The Flint River Band wanted to make sure that this was the real deal. They contacted Luke Bryan's managers to verify the performance.
"She got in touch with a manager, and when she called me back, it was like 'Oh boy,' because the manager said she had not heard anything about this," said McKenzie.
McKenzie said that's when it all fell apart. Gloria Johnson found out she wasn't actually talking to Luke Bryan's manager, and it was all just likely a scam.
He said usually a down payment is required for a big artist like that, which Johnson was preparing to send on Monday.
McKenzie is just all glad this was caught earlier than later.
"If she would have went [sic] ahead and paid the money on Monday, she would have never heard from anyone ever again. This was huge money, we're talking about tens of thousands of dollars that she would have had to come up with up front. In South Georgia, that's enough money to wreck someone for life," said McKenzie.
Gloria Johnson took to Facebook after finding out she had been fooled by someone claiming to be Luke Bryan's manager.
She wrote in part- "Luke's attorney called me and told me that it was not Luke nor Luke's manager that I was talking to. Thank God I didn't send them any money! I would have been broke. I can handle a broken heart, but not a broken pocketbook."
She went on to tell those who paid for the tickets that she would gladly give everyone their money back, but welcomes their business in the future.
The Thomasville Police Department is investigating.
If you think you're being scammed, there are a few things you can do.
- Call your bank or credit card company immediately
- Cancel any credit or debit cards linked to the account
- Reset PIN numbers
You can also contact Adult Protective Services. You can visit this website or call them at 1-800-677-1116 weekdays 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. to find a local office.