Bruno Mars is in NZ and many have congregated to Auckland for his concerts.

However, one family has been left angry and upset by the event after falling victim to a ticketing scam.

Maia Te Nana's birthday present was tickets to go to Bruno Mars’ concert for her and her friend.

It wasn’t until they were at the venue that they were denied entry and told their tickets were fake.

Stacey Smith, the mother of Te Nana was shocked to learn that the tickets she purchased face to face were not valid.

“Her 16th, it was a milestone that you can't ever get back so you know. It made me really angry because I got completely ripped off. I handed cash to a person who shook my hand. Those old-fashioned values aren't there anymore.”

She posted her experience and response on Facebook which has attracted hundreds of posts and shares.

“It has gone viral. Look it makes me really nervous how viral it went and how quickly. But since then he's been in touch.”

That's when Smith also found out she wasn’t the only one who was scammed.

“You know I got a lovely message from another lady who was also in the same position and got sold the same ticket by the same person. So she sent me the email trail. She had purchased those from TradeMe. The same thing happened to her and her cousin. They went to the cousin last night and were denied at the gates and were told that the tickets have been cancelled and refunded in May of last year.”

She also says from devastation, came happiness in the form of tickets from a well-known radio host.

“Nate at Mai FM, shout out to you Nate, who gifted us two tickets for the girls to go tonight.”

But it’s not a happy ending for everyone and Smith hopes this is an example to others

“Unless it's a trusted site don't do it. Don't do it, it's not worth it, especially if it's months away, especially if the transaction is purely online. And at the end of it all, I was covering my bases by meeting him in person and that didn't help.”

A big lesson learnt but Smith’s determination means the scammer has had a change of heart and will refund the money.

The saga serves as a cautionary tale for all.