Fake sports website pop up in Austin, AL

Published 10:30 am Monday, August 3, 2015

By Sam Wilmes

ALBERT LEA — A fraudulent website was found last week pretending to be affiliated with area youth sports, according to the Albert Lea Police Department.

The website is www.allyouthfootball.com/albertleaminnesotayouthfootball. A similar site, www.allyouthfootball.com/austinminnesotayouthfootball, was made for Austin sports.

Email newsletter signup

“We have determined the site has nothing to do with the youth sports program in Albert Lea,” said detective Ben Mortensen with the Albert Lea Police Department.

Mortensen said the website asks for a person’s e-mail address and name as a person interested in Albert Lea youth sports. This type of website gathers emails, then at a later date sends emails to the names on the list, asking for donations or personal information, Mortensen said.

No reports have been received of people being scammed by the website, but Mortensen advised residents to be proactive and not to send an email to the site.

He suggested that when donating to local causes people should call up the organization and talk with them about making a donation.

“It is too easy with the Internet to send your money or personal information to someone who is not involved in the organization,” Mortensen said.

This has been the only fraudulent site specific to Albert Lea found in 2015, Mortensen said, but he said there are other fraudulent sites out there.

He encouraged people to be suspicious of anyone asking for money or private information either on the phone, Internet or mail.

He said websites like the one detected Tuesday gather email and personal information, then target people with interests they have already indicated they would donate to. Websites like the one detected later on ask for credit card information, Mortensen said. The information is also sometimes sold to other fraudulent sites.

Mortensen said the public has become more aware of fraudulent sites and activity.

“As people have become more and more informed, the phishing type of e-mail hasn’t been as efficient in getting people to answer and get conned out of their money or personal information,” Mortensen said.