Scam claims false affiliation with local school
District officials warn residents to be suspicious if approached
Sept. 15, 2011—In recent months, there has been an
ongoing scam throughout New York State which leads community residents and
local businesses to believe they are donating money to school district
athletics programs when in fact, they are being duped.
Through the scam, a company, which has gone by the names Signature Sports and Sports Media, tells residents it is printing sports calendars or posters and offers individuals or businesses the opportunity to sponsor school district athletic programs.
While we do not know of any Guilderland Central School District residents affected by this scam, it has affected residents in several neighboring school districts this summer and so we felt it important to let you know that neither GCSD nor the High School Athletics Department has any affiliation or contract with any such vendor.
The company operates by soliciting and setting up direct charges to the sponsor’s bank account, and then debits or charges these accounts annually. According to local police, the company generates billing statements that appear to be legitimate to the consumer because they feature the name of the local school district. The invoice, however, has fine print on the bottom indicating it is not affiliated with any school district.
If you are approached to donate money in this manner, be suspicious. School district officials will never ask for credit card or banking information from district residents for any legitimate school-sponsored fundraisers.
If you have been targeted as part of this scam or are contacted by these vendors in the future, consider visiting the New York State Attorney General’s Complaint Resource Center where you can file a consumer complaint if you believe a business is acting fraudulently or deceptively. The Complaint Resource Center can be found here: http://www.ag.ny.gov/resource_center/complaints/complaints.html.