DUMAS, TX (KFDA) - Some Dumas business owners have fallen victim to a scam by a company pretending to be affiliated with the Dumas ISD Athletic Department.
For about a month, an athletic company out of Forth Worth called Touchdown Sports has been soliciting Dumas businesses for money in exchange for advertising at Demons sporting events.
The problem is the school had no idea.
This company has contacted at least 8 local businesses in Dumas, 2 of which have fallen victim to the scam.
"They say if you send a certain amount of money you'll receive a certain amount of perks at a sporting event, and we don't have any obligation or any commitment that we've made with a company to do that," said Brian Heaton, Athletic Director for Dumas ISD. "Now, we do have sponsorships with our locals but that's done directly through us."
Heaton found out about the scam when Touchdown Sports sent t-shirts to the school with the sponsor logos and an incorrect Dumas Demons logo on them.
Those shirts were one of the perks promised, along with things like announcing their business name at half time of the games and displaying their company banners in the stadium.
Soliciting originally started just for football games, but then started to include basketball season, too.
"I have talked to their company on several different occasions and am just not making a lot of progress as far as that goes," said Heaton.
All sponsorships for Dumas Athletics are supposed to be contracted through the athletics department, and these were not.
Heaton said the school district almost always asks for sponsorships in person, not over the phone.
"We believe in hands on and not just over the phone saying 'hey send me a check,' and any time that happens that ought raise a red flag," said Heaton. "We want it to be a personal thing and not just something over the phone."
Plus, Dumas ISD does not hire outside the city to raise funds.
"Businesses within our community do such an outstanding job of supporting the programs that we do have, not just athletics but all different programs within our school district, that we want to protect them and tell them thank you for that, and hopefully this won't be happening anymore," said Heaton.
If you own a business in Dumas and think you may be a target of this scam, contact the school district and they can let you know if the sponsorship request is legitimate.