A devoted mother who wanted to surprise her daughters with tickets to tonight's Pink concert drove halfway to Dunedin from Hanmer Springs before realising she'd been scammed.
Donna Knight is now warning other online buyers not to trust anyone after being taken in by a woman on Facebook.
"I decided on Thursday I was going to try and surprise my children and take them to Pink," Knight told the Herald.
Pink is performing at Forsyth Bar Stadium in Dunedin tonight.
Knight, who missed out on the tickets when they first went on sale, went on Facebook to see if anyone was selling last-minute tickets.
A woman contacted her offering three tickets for $350.
"I texted saying to her 'look, I'm worried of getting scammed, I've never done this sort of thing before.'"
The woman told her to trust her and assured her she was "legit".
She supplied a name, email, and postal address, and offered for Knight to pay $270 first, and pay the rest when the tickets came through.
Knight and her husband believed that was not something a scammer would do, so transferred the money.
The woman then told Knight she would need to get her sister to change the names on the tickets so they could not be sold to anybody else, and that her sister would do it when she had a break at work.
Knight continued to anxiously check in with the woman to see if it had been done, waiting for the tickets before getting on the road to Dunedin.
The woman eventually convinced her to pick her girls up from school and start the trip south so she would not get caught in traffic, promising that the tickets would be sent through as soon as possible.
Knight said her oldest daughter, whose 10th birthday the tickets were for, was so excited to go to Pink that she cried.
"It's my daughter's favourite, it's the one concert she really wanted to go to."
They began the five and a-half hour drive to Dunedin, with Knight becoming increasingly concerned the tickets had not come through.
Partway through the drive she realised she had been scammed, and told the girls, who didn't want to believe that anyone would do such a thing.
They insisted on continuing the drive to Dunedin, telling their mother the tickets would surely come through.
Knight agreed to continue to Oamaru and stay the night with family. In the morning, she awoke to find the woman on Facebook had blocked her.
Today they are making the miserable drive back up to Hanmer Springs.
The girls were "absolutely gutted", and Knight sounded tearful as she spoke of the incident.
"My oldest is like 'oh, this is a birthday present I'll remember forever'," she said.
Now Knight has a warning for others looking to buy tickets through non-official channels.
"Don't believe anyone. I think it's genuinely a matter of realising that. I would like to say there's still good in the world but I don't think there is."
Knight said she "genuinely got played".
It was one thing for the woman to take her money, but another for her to encourage her to pick up the girls from school and head to Dunedin, dragging out the ordeal.
Knight has also spent $180 so far on petrol, and is still not all the way home.
"I feel sick to my stomach."
She had learned a "very expensive lesson".
Knight will be reporting the incident to police.