LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - A Longview business is out quite a bit of money after they bought fake ads for a high school football calendar. Longview Independent School District says those “salespeople” are not affiliated with the school.
Elizabeth Ross with LISD says someone may be taking advantage of Lobo supporters.
“They’re supposedly out of San Antonio so if anyone is hit up by Booster Club Publishing, it is a scam. They are not real,” Ross said.
Ross has learned they go to a business known to support a local school to offer to sell an ad for a program or calendar.
“They start at five hundred and they would go back to the business and say oh, well now we have this calendar or no we have this specialty program, and they’ve started to take these businesses for thousands of dollars,” Ross revealed.
Ross says she learned about it at a football banquet Monday night when a business owner said they were surprised ads were available so early.
“One of our booster members said we’re not selling ads this early,” Ross recalled.
And that’s when the business owner, and LISD, realized what happened.
“They’re taking money from kids,” Ross said.
Jim Tachias is in the financial services business in Longview and says he got a phone call from Booster Club Publishing in November.
“He said yeah we’re working for Coach King to get these ads and so forth, and it just sounded fishy,” Tachias said.
He said the timing was off since that was during football season.
“I wouldn’t have expected to get a call like that until summertime,” Tachias stated.
Ross says they start the official LISD sales process with a letter.
“It had the Longview ISD seal on it, it is signed by Coach King. Those get mailed out this summer,” Ross added.
At this point Ross doesn’t know how many Longview Lobo supporters have been approached.
“What’s frustrating about this is that it was us this time, but it could be any of the school districts so this is not just a Longview ISD problem, this is a Longview area problem,” Ross said.
LISD has warned other area school districts of the incident. She also says if you have a question about a school sale, contact the corresponding school district’s administration office.
“It’s stealing money from parent volunteers, and it’s stealing money from kids, and that is never okay.”