Local

Scam in Selma; people pose as students

Thursday, March 29, 2012

School officials are looking into Selma's latest scam -- people posing as high school athletes asking for donations. In one case, a woman's donated check was even forged and it cost her hundreds of dollars.

School officials worry a scam like this could convince people not to donate to athletic or academic programs in the future.

The Selma High varsity softball team celebrates a grand slam Thursday. The girls are on a successful season so far. But the 'Bears' name isn't being celebrated. It's being abused by scammers.

"It's unfortunate that that is happening in our community," said softball mom Lupita Gonzalez.

She spent her birthday running the snack bar during her daughter's game Thursday. She and the other athlete's parents donate their time to help raise money for the team. Many are angry now after hearing crooks are pretending to do their job. They say it's essentially taking away from their children.

"They're misrepresenting Selma High, they're misrepresenting Selma Unified," said Assistant Superintendent Teresa Wood. She said Selma High has received complaints about the fraud.

The caller reported several 'young people' going door to door, claiming to be athletes on the Selma high softball or track and field teams.

"They may not be Selma high students at all," Wood said. "And we're hoping that they're not."

Wood said the scammers push for cash donations. "I don't know of any circumstances where any students or even parent or booster groups would go solicit cash donations," she said.

But they will, she said, take checks. One woman reportedly donated $34. That check was later turned into a $340 check.

"It's sad that kids are doing that to any sport that the school has," said Selma resident Jessica Rodriguez. "It, how can I say it, it messes up the kids chances when they do have their fundraisers, that people won't believe them."

The Selma Police Department said no reports on the scam have been filed.

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Tags:
crimetracker, scams, selma, fresno county, local, rick montanez
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