Madison County High School has been the prime target of several scams this summer, including a t-shirt scam run by a company called “Spirit Shop,” where local businesses were contacted and asked to buy an ad space on a Cowboys t-shirt that would be distributed to the high school for a fundraiser. In the June 1 issue of the Madison County Carrier, readers were warned of another scam that was run by “New Start Making LLC” that pressed for individuals to buy ad space within a football schedule program, which would charge $349.50 to $899.50 for a schedule program.
However, MCHS Principal Ben Killingsworth assured that these offers have no affiliation with the school. But, that doesn't mean that the scammers won't keep trying.
Recently, a company called “Impex Group” of Inglewood, Calif. have contacted local businesses in attempts to purchase an ad within a 2016 Madison County High School Football Varsity Schedule Program, sounding legitimate with an email that says “The programs are a tri-fold brochure with a high resolution full color cover gloss, a perfect keepsake for fans, friends and families. The community will support the team and the advertisers highlighted by the Football schedule for the 'Go Cowboys!!!' right in the center. Around the bordering sides, front and back of the schedule, we feature leading local area businesses that will benefit from being featured on 4,000 programs for all local residences and businesses to see for the entire football season.”
As far as the price is concerned, Impex Group offers prices similar to New Start Making LLC, with a 2 x 2 business card ad costing $349.50; a 2 x 4 double business card ad costing $449.50; a 2 x 8 bottom banner costing $549.50; and a “Super Fan Package” with a 6 x 8 ad costing $899.50.
To conclude the scam email, Impex Group encourages businesses to call the number listed and reserve their spot.
Principal Killingsworth and MCHS Varsity Head Coach Mike Coe both confirmed that the school is not affiliated with Impex Group or any other scam that has been floating around recently. “[These scams] happen all the time, a lot during the summer,” said Coe.
Don’t fall prey to this newest scam or any other scam that claims to be in partnership with schools around Madison County.
If any local business receives emails or calls regarding the sale of ad space on programs, footballs, t-shirts or any other product, steps should be taken to verify that the sale is actually going to profit the local school.
Call the school that the scam is masquerading for and verify with a representative of the school that there is indeed a sale going on before purchasing anything from a company that could likely be untrustworthy.
If you or someone you know believes that they have been a victim of this scam, contact the Madison County Sheriff's Office at (850) 973-4151.