CHARLOTTE — In early September, more than 74,000 people packed Bank of America Stadium to watch two of college football’s biggest powerhouses at the time battle it out, Clemson and Georgia.
It was the third-most attended game in history and Charlotte resident Erin Watkins said she was pumped up to attend.
“This game has been on the calendar for a while,” Watkins said. “So we were really looking forward to it.”
But first, she had to buy tickets. She turned to the Clemson fan board, Tiger Net, and almost right away she got a response from a man named Dwayne Potts.
“He was telling me about how his dad was class of 1950-something at Clemson, and that he was a big part of a big Clemson family,” she said. “Really tugging at the Clemson ties.”
She sent him $300 through PayPal, a 50% deposit for two tickets, and later hit him up for additional seats for her friends. He was responsive and she said nothing seemed fishy. They ended up sending him $1,800.
Then the excuses started. According to Watkins, Potts claimed he had COVID-19 and couldn’t meet in person, and he said he was having trouble transferring the tickets electronically.
“We said ‘You know what, Dwayne? We just want a refund. This is getting too complicated. The games coming up pretty quick now,’” she said. “So, then he had a hard time giving us the refund.”
Watkins said she had plans to meet with Potts but he never showed. She tried calling him, and learned that her and her boyfriend’s numbers were blocked.
Little did Erin Watkins know, Rick and Valerie Bynum were talking to the same person about season parking passes and tickets to the game in Charlotte for their daughter and her friends.
They paid $1,000 and their daughter was going to pick up everything at the gate on game day.
Dwayne Potts never showed.
“[Our daughter] called us in a panic at 6:30 before the Georgia game saying ‘Dad, where is this guy?’” Rick Bynum said. “Valerie had tried to call and he wasn’t answering.”
The Bynums and Watkins connected via Tiger Net and together heard horror story after horror story from people who said they paid Potts for tickets they never got. They are now part of a spreadsheet with other victims. The losses total $24,000.
“I mean he scammed doctors, he scammed accountants,” Valerie Bynum said. “He just steals enough to humiliate you and move on.”
What they did not know at the time was Potts’ history. Records show Randolph “Dwayne” Potts was arrested in Anderson County, South Carolina this past March. The charge: Obtaining goods under a false pretense.
The police report said he scammed a man out of $1,000, promising a refund for season tickets, but never delivering.
A spokesperson for Clemson told Channel 9 they have no record of Potts ever having purchased tickets from the school or from their secondary ticket partner StubHub. More police reports have been filed against Potts and the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office confirmed they have an active warrant out for his arrest.
It’s unknown where Potts currently is. He did not respond to Channel 9′s requests for comment.
“Hopefully, he will wear orange for a long time,” Valerie Bynum said.
“He was really good and I think that’s why he was able to get a lot of us. He really preyed upon that Clemson connection,” Watkins said.
Erin Watkins, and the Bynum family, said they came forward to warn people this is going on and to hopefully prevent anyone else from being ripped off.
“It can happen to anybody and when it does, don’t be too embarrassed to speak up,” Rick Bynum said. “Because it’ll take you to really put somebody like that behind bars.”
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