Chelsea target of online scam as club issues urgent ‘soccer schools’ warning to young players
Scammers are impersonating Chelsea FC to extort money of families wanting to send youngsters to ‘soccer schools’.
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Chelsea Football Club has issued a warning message to young footballers and their families after being made aware of scammers posing at the club to extort payment from budding stars.
The Premier League side shared a statement on Tuesday warning that fraudsters had been 'impersonating the club and individual members of our staff in an attempt to extract payment for aspiring junior players to take part in football trials or private training sessions'.
Chelsea reported that fake social media accounts were being used to impersonate club officials and a fake website set up to imitate that of the Chelsea Foundation. Emails were also sent to young footballers to book 'soccer school trials' across the world.
The club said: "Please exercise caution before interacting with or making payment to anything that fits this description. Chelsea Football Club and our global youth system at all levels will never ask for money in connection with anything that refers to a trials process.
"Our Academy for male players does not hold open trials and information about trials for the Chelsea FC Women’s Academy is only carried on our official website, www.chelseafc.com, with no payment or bank details ever requested.
"We will never reach out directly to young players and their families or carers via social media platforms, or use personal email addresses from coaches, scouts or other staff to invite anyone to a trial.
"Chelsea FC is committed to safeguarding our wide community and takes this problem extremely seriously. We continue to monitor this situation and work towards the eradication of these online scams but if you wish to contact the club regarding this matter, report any suspected fraudulent activity, or check whether any communication you receive is genuine, please do so by contacting our general club enquiries via the dropdown menu on the Contact Us page or by directly emailing [email protected]."