Business owners warned of basketball program scam

From Staff Reports

Nov 21, 2007 - Business owners beware: While many school children are holding fund drives to raise money for activities, someone is falsely purporting to represent a Sulphur Springs sports program.

At least one local business has fallen victim to the scam, and another has been approached, according to Sulphur Springs Independent School District Superintendent Patsy Bolton, who is trying to get the word out to businesses about the scam.

Someone went into a local business and represented themselves as "coach Anderson" from Sulphur Springs selling ads for a printed basketball game program.

There are two things fundamentally wrong with that statement.

�We have no coach Anderson or basketball [game] program,� Bolton said.

During football season, ads are sold for printed game programs. However, that is not done by SSISD during basketball season — they do not print programs for basketball games. 

Bolton urges local business people to not be taken in by the fake coach, who is trying to fleece them of $300 for a fictitious ad. One restaurant paid the $300, while another was approached but is not believed to have lost money to the con.

Generally, those legitimately working on such fund-raisers will have some way to identify themselves as who they claim to be, as well as some paperwork which will positively affiliate them with the program. Local businesses and residents who donate to youth and school activities are commended for their support, but are cautioned to be wary so they don’t become a victim of con artists.

It's better to be safe than sorry, and when in doubt, ask for identification, then contact the school or organization the request is supposed to be for.

The numbers for all local schools are printed in the telephone directories, and can be reached during regular school hours.

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