ONE Barnsley football club was targeted by scammers in a wave of similar cons, police confirmed.

Football clubs of all levels have been warned to stay vigilant after three South Yorkshire teams, including a team in the borough, fell victim to scams in which criminals pose as senior officials or owners of other clubs.

The offenders, taking advantage of the long period of inactivity - and the financial trouble that comes with it - clubs are facing, ask for bank details with which to transfer funds.

South Yorkshire Police’s football officer, PC Brett Thompson, urged teams to look at their digital security and take note of strange phone calls or emails.
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PC Thompson said: “This scam involves criminals posing as senior managers, owners or chief executives of football clubs then asking other members of the management team to provide bank details or vouchers for ‘club purposes’.

“Once details have been handed over, they would then be used for fraudulent purposes, financial exploitation or theft.

“These attempts are being made by email and telephone calls, so it’s really important that clubs are using secure platforms to contact each other - and know who they are speaking to.

“So far three incidents have been reported to us in South Yorkshire, it’s really important that clubs are aware of this and also share this information with people affiliated with the club.

“Thankfully each of these attempted scams has been detected before any damage can be done, let’s keep it that way.”

It’s the latest in an ever-increasing number of scams in the borough, which have seen fraudsters pose as Barnsley Council and Barnsley Hospice officials.

Last week, the Chronicle was contacted by a 39-year-old woman who fell victim to two different scams in one week - the first a call from scammers posing as HMRC officials, and the second a website fraudulently advertising items likely to be bought as gifts.

Police have also urged caution over ‘courier fraud’ - a scam in which an offender posing as a fraud investigator coerces a victim into handing over money or high-value items to an associate who’s sent to their house - after an elderly Barnsley man was taken for £6,000.

If you are concerned about any suspicious activity, call police on 101.