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Office of the Vermont Attorney General

Texas Company Targeting Local Businesses in School Sports Scam

May 25, 2018

Contact: Jason Duquette-Hoffman, Program Coordinator, (802) 489-7153

A Texas company is contacting local businesses in Vermont, asking for “sponsorships” for materials to benefit South Burlington High School. However, according to a report submitted to the Attorney General by the South Burlington Police Department (SBPD), this company has no real affiliation with the school.

Parkway Diner contacted South Burlington Police to report receiving a phone solicitation asking them to sponsor t-shirts for South Burlington High School. Upon further investigation, SBPD determined that this solicitation was not all it appeared to be. The company, calling itself “Sports Media Marketing,” has been the subject of news reports in Texas claiming the company is misleading local businesses into giving them money for schools that they have no formal relationship with.

The Attorney General’s Consumer Assistance Program (CAP), a partnership with the University of Vermont, found that the company isn’t following Vermont law. The CAP staff found that the company has not registered to do business in the State and is not a registered telemarketer as required by Vermont law, among other possible violations.

The Attorney General’s office has sent notice to the company that it must stop soliciting in Vermont until it complies with Vermont law. Responding to the report to his office, Attorney General T.J. Donovan said, “We will not tolerate scammers falsely trading on the good will and generosity of our business community. Local businesses need to know we are here to protect them from scammers.”

If your business was contacted by this company, Attorney General Donovan wants to hear from you. “I appreciate the folks at Parkway Diner for reporting this scam to law enforcement, and the efforts of Corporal Todd Leblanc with South Burlington Police to investigate this and bring it to the attention of my office,” said Donovan.

You can report solicitations to the Attorney General’s Consumer Assistance Program by phone at 800-649-2424, or by e-mail at AGO.CAP@vermont.gov. You can also file a complaint online at consumer.vermont.gov.

Last modified: May 30, 2018