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Scammers use school sports to target Hermiston businesses

‘Sports Media’ has no affiliation with Hermiston schools
By Phil Wright

Staff Writer

Published on August 4, 2017 2:55PM

Scammers are again trying to con Hermiston businesses into buying school sports ads.

Hermiston School District in a written statement on Friday warned about Hermiston businesses receiving invoices in the mail from Sports Media, of Idaho Falls, Idaho, seeking payment for the “Hermiston High School 2017 Fall Sports Poster.”

The ads cost $169, according to the digital images of invoices the district sent.

“Hermiston School District would like the business community to know that this vendor is not affiliated with the high school or district,” according to the statement, “and proceeds from the posters do not benefit district students.”

It also is apparent, the district stated, Sports Media knows this is when Hermiston High School contacts businesses for sponsorship for the 2017-18 school year.

However, the district stated, “Any advertising or sponsorship for Hermiston High School programs will come directly from Larry Usher, the district’s director of athletics and activities, or Lindy Thompson, the athletics secretary.”

Sports Media tried this scheme before in Hermiston, as well as in the spring in Astoria.

The person who answered the phone at the company’s number, 888-441-9584, said she only handles collections while the company sales department is in New Mexico. No one was on-site at that time, she said, who could answer questions about why the company solicited Hermiston businesses. There also was no immediate response to an email seeking details.

The Idaho Secretary of State’s website for information on businesses has no entry for Sports Media, although the invoices show an Idaho Falls address of 2184 Channing Way, No. 185.

A search of internet mapping sites shows 2184 Channing Way is the location for Channing Square, a strip mall.

The school district also reported filing a formal complaint against Sports Media with the consumer protection division of the Oregon Department of Justice.


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