It appears that fraudsters have been impersonating one of the top football clubs in the United Arab Emirates, Dibba Al-Hisn Sports Club.
In a recent finding, a young footballer (name withheld) from Ghana contacted Footballers Connect, an organization that provides information and support to footballers, explaining how he was asked to pay a non-refundable $650 meant for “Clearance Processing Fee” by individuals who claimed be representatives of Dibba Al-Hisn, and are recruiting players for trials for August 2020.
The player while surfing the net came across the ad published via Twitter and other social media platforms (@dibba_al on Twitter and website www.dibbaalhisnsc.com) they target players from Africa who are desperate to leave their countries for greener pastures. He then sent his videos and cv to apply for the supposed trial.
The “club representatives” encouraged the young lad to send the money via Money Gram through their Secretary named Keifala Mansaray of 7th Floor Regal Tower, Business Bay Town, Dubai UAE to hasten the process due to the trial date stipulated on the Invitation Letter.
The agents claimed that the payment would also cover the following:
1. Travel Clearance and e-Visa Extension Clearance Papers
2. United Arab Emirates Residence Permit Clearance Certificate.
3. Emirates Identification Card and Federal Authorization Clearance
4. Trial Registration Clearance, Authorization and Registration Fee
According to the player, he had received several documents with emails such as from lawyer, attorney, or Agents.
All efforts to reach the agents through the email addresses, proved abortives as Google confirmed that the email addresses do not exist.
Below are some of the documents sent to the player which includes UAE Immigration form, an email requesting for funds, registration form of Dibba Al-Hisn SC,
This is just one of several fraudulent networks perpetuating such scams in Africa. These fraudsters thrive one the desperation of young players to leave Africa. Some of these scams have left many families broke owing to the fact that properties were sold to foot the monetary demands of these agents.
An attempt was made by Footballers Connect to reach the club, Dibba Al-Hisn Sports Club via email but there was no response. The club later replied to a tweet stating that they had no link whatsoever with the imposters.
This is an imaginary account and we are not responsible for anything issued from it and we, like the Dibba Al-Hisn Club, do not have any other page other than these and our official pages are present in all designs.
— نـ ـا د ي دبـ ـا الـ ـحـ ـصـ ـن (@DHCLUB1980) August 5, 2020
In another check, the club’s official website is dhclub.ae as opposed to dibbaalhisnfc.com touted by the agents.
Footballers Connect spoke with Abdelrahman Kurdieh, a Dubai-based Football Intermediary, who confirmed that these fraudsters are people who are familiar with the club processes but do not have any relationship with the clubs.
“The ideal way that a club would invite a player from Africa is that they would work with Agents that they already know. The club mandates the agents to get players with certain qualities who then goes to his network to check players available. Clubs do not directly send an invitation to players, It is non-existent. I’m yet to hear of a UAE or Dubai club sending an invitation to a player that we are expecting you for trials.”
The problem is that there are scammer-agents who know these processes and they act like they have a connection with the club and then forge documents to try to prove that they have the connection. Players are not educated in this process, so they don’t know. They also do not look into the invitation and do due diligence to check on google id the address, email, phone number, and website are the same with the official club’s channels,” – Abdel stated.
However, below are the ways to spot fraudulent football agents:
- The agent or intermediary offers a player opportunity to be signed by a foreign club
- The intermediary asks the player for money in exchange for securing the opportunity
- Agent pressures the player to raise the money as the trial date is nearby and opportunity may expire soon
- The player contacts his immediate and extended family to raise the fund
- The agent claims the requested amount will be refunded by the club after he passes trial
- As soon as payment is made, the agent will stop responding, only to return after some time with another demand for money.
- If the player is able to raise another round of payment, and the agent realizes the player is desperate and vulnerable, he demands more.
- The agent stops responding to emails, phone calls and then disappears.