It's almost June, and that means two seasons are upon us:
1) the season where CCI begins to sell off any refunded passes
2) the season where wily scammers sell off fake Comic Con passes on Ebay, Craigslist, dark alleys and other dubious venues
If you don't have a pass, there are only three ways you're going to get one. Be one of the lucky few who buy the CCI refunded passes after June 20, be one of the very lucky few who win a contest, or affiliate yourself with a retailer/industry person who already has passes for their staff. That's it.*
Here's why. You can't buy a pass off someone else. CCI doesn't allow that. You must bring in your bar-coded confirmation letter and a photo ID when you pick up your badge. There's no way around this. I suppose you could buy the pass and then get a fake ID made, but there's no guarantee the pass is legitimate to begin with and CCI is pretty good at detecting offenders.
Bleeding Cool notes that four-day passes are being hawked for $250-$300, as noted in this super-sketchy Craigslist ad. It's possible this person has actual passes and is genuinely trying to make a profit, but whoever is naive enough to buy them won't be able to use them. They'll just be out hundreds of dollars and whatever they spent on plane fare/hotel room to get there.
Nor can you buy someone else's pass, then call CCI and ask for it to be transferred into your name because your friend who originally bought it can't go. I've seen people attempt this for very valid reasons and get denied. Refunds only, no transfers. This is a bitter pill when your sole travel companion has to cancel and your other friend would like to come instead, but CCI won't allow the pass transferred.
So. Don't fall for the many, many scams rising up online like so many zombies. The Con got a lot of attention for selling out so quickly this year, and enterprising scammers know that someone will be dumb or desperate enough to buy their fake passes. Don't. People will try to sell off real passes, too. Don't buy those either. You won't be able to use them.
* Okay, there are two other ways. If you have friends who are going, persuade them to let you come along, then swap one badge back and forth. Photo ID is only checked when you pick up your badge - after that, the security staff just checks that you have admittance for that day, so you can indeed use someone else's badge to enter the convention center. Obviously this means you and your friend can't attend the same panels and events. Your other option, which only works if you're local, is to stand outside the convention center that weekend and somehow find people with four-day badges who aren't coming back, then offer to buy theirs off them. CCI frowns on this and despite the massive crowding, their staff is everywhere so be very discreet if you try this.