What more fitting way to conclude 2016, a year full of surprise horrors and tragedies, than by getting scammed out of $100 or more for admission to a New Year's Eve benefit concert that isn't actually happening and will not, as advertised, feature special guests including '90s hitmakers K-Ci & JoJo and Color Me Badd.
The Alameda County District Attorney's Office issued a "Fraud Alert" yesterday regarding the concert in question, which is advertised online as “I Love the 90’s Music Fest” and "New Years Eve 90’s Music Fest” to be held in Berkeley at a vague, undisclosed location with references to “harbor lights yacht," Berkeley's Sproul Hall, and "4 party rooms, 3, dance floors, and 7 bars."
General admission tickets to the non-event also promise a "HUGE Champagne Ball countdown," and VIP tickets are said to include a "hot and cold seafood buffet with champagne and desserts" plus a "late night Breakfast Bar." I'm sorry to tell you this, but there will be no seafood, hot or cold, and there is also no champagne. The late night breakfast bar is also a fabrication.
Crueler still: the Alameda County Food Bank is cited as a beneficiary of the evening in the advertising materials. That was news to Food Bank spokesperson Micheal Altfest according to the East Bay Times, who also learned from Color Me Badd's agent, Seth Cohen, that he had been recently made aware of the event... via a scam alert posted to a K-Ci & JoJo social media page
A working phone number for the purported promoter, AFAA Sports, is listed on the website for the fraudulent concert, and SFist spoke to an operator who had "limited knowledge" in "her department" of the supposed NYE event. We'll update this further if we hear back for more, as promised.
The Alameda County DA says that if you've unwittingly bought into the scam or have any further information about it, you should call its Consumer Protection Division at (510) 383-8600. Want to give the Food Bank a boost? Altfest tells the East Bay Times that “If people want to make straight donations, that’s a safer way to give." And if all of this leaves a hole in your New Year's Eve plans, consider that Justice will be doing a DJ Set at the Armory. That's just one of many more actual, concrete events being held in the Bay Area that evening.