Chambers Warn of Fundraising Scams

By: Amanda Lutz
By: Amanda Lutz

This is the time of year when school athletes and their supporters will raise money for their teams, but school officials are asking businesses to be aware as word of a fundraising scam is out Thursday.

The WIAA, which governs high school athletics, says a company called Booster Club Productions-Liberty Printing is asking businesses for advertising dollars to print high school athletic schedules.

In exchange for those ad dollars, the company claims it will make a donation to the school, but according to chamber officials, the company makes more money off the ads than the amount of the donation they give to the school.

They say scams like this aren't unusual.

"We'll hear reports of businesses being contacted, or the schools will have inquiries from them to businesses to see if the calls that are being made to businesses are legitimate," says Connie Loden, executive director of the Heart of Wisconsin Business & Economic Alliance.

Loden says most booster club fundraising is done by the students and parents themselves, and these scams take advantage of the athletes in the worst way possible.

"People get excited about the athletic events that they can take advantage of viewing and get that community pride and spirit off the ground," she says. "[The scammers] take advantage of that momentum."

Loden suggests checking with the school if you're approached by a fundraising group to see if it's legitimate and also ask how the funds will be used. Loden says if they can't give a straight answer, it should raise some suspicions.