SCOTT COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — The Scott County Sheriff's Office and Scott County Schools are warning local businesses about a scam popping up of an out of state business trying to solicit money that it claims will go to high school athletics.
School officials say it isn't a new scam, but they're worried about people being taken advantage of during this time when many want to help their community.
District Athletic Director D.T. Wells says some local businesses have fallen victim to this scam in the past.
"This summer is the first time that we were contacted by a business to say, 'Hey, this company is calling again.' This company is so malicious, they're calling back companies that they have already scammed out of money," said Wells.
Wells says the company once went by Boost Sports and is now going by DBA Sports Media Marketing. It's contacting Scott County businesses either by phone or email asking for sponsorship on behalf of the district's high school athletics departments. LEX 18 was provided an example of an email sent last school year that explains how the money will go toward mascot t-shirts. School officials became aware of the scam when t-shirts displaying local businesses were delivered to the district.
"It does make it a little confusing on the fact that we are receiving merchandise, but that merchandise we never requested to receive and for example, a company might give $800 to get their name on the back of a t-shirt, and you receive a hundred t-shirts that are worth $100," said Wells. "So, the company is making all the money off the top of that and keeping the money from our sports programs and our community."
Now that the company is reaching out again, the district and local law enforcement want to make sure no one else falls victim. Sergeant Eddie Hart with the Scott County Sheriff's Office says if someone calls asking for money, question it.
"If someone calls you, say 'Okay, thank you for the information.' Then hang up and use a local directory or if you have that number of the Scott County Schools system or whatever business, you call them directly and then say, 'Hey, I was just called and approached about giving some money,' and they'll direct you to the proper place," said Sgt. Hart.
There apparently have not been any victims of the scam so far this summer, and the district wants to keep it that way. School officials say any legitimate fundraising will come from someone directly with the schools.