Vipers FC of Australia is one of the thousands of football clubs across the globe who are being impersonated by fraudsters posing as agents representing professional clubs.
The young footballers who are constantly searching for opportunities to jet out of Africa are promised greener pasture opportunities overseas and asked to make certain payment as registration fee and visa processing to access the opportunities.
Footballers Connect, an initiative providing support to footballers in Nigeria reached out to Vipers FC based in St Clair, South Australia, and currently play in the South Australian State League 2 if indeed they were expecting a 17-year old Nigerian on trials.
The club in an email to Footballers Connect confirmed that they do not have open trials and do not receive players from overseas.
“We do not require payment from players. I’m sorry that is a scam email,” Vipers FC representative, said in an email.
The young lad came across the fraudsters while searching for football agents online all in a bid to give light to his football career.
The scammers requested a payment of $430 (over NGN160,000) to the club regional agency in Nigeria where his travel documents would be processed. The bank account sent to the kid ended up being an individual account, and that the player has limited time to pay up.
“Thank you for the information. The logo in the letter is not our logo. We do have open trials but would not ask people from overseas to come out and try. We have contacted outlook about the email addresses,”- Vipers FC said.
In his quest to meet more agents online, the player stumbled on Footballers Connect where he lodged his concerns, and the matter was taken up.
Footballers Connect had recently exposed fraudsters who attempted to deceive a Ghanaian to a tune of $650 claiming to be representatives of Dubai Club, Dibba Al-Hisn.
It should be noted by footballers that no serious football intermediary, scouts or club representative would recommend a player that has not been seen played, no videos, and no photographs.
However, below are the ways to spot fraudulent football agents:
1. The agent or intermediary offers a player opportunity to be signed by a foreign club
2. The intermediary asks the player for money in exchange for securing the opportunity
3. Agent pressures the player to raise the money as the trial date is nearby and opportunity may expire soon
4. The player contacts his immediate and extended family to raise the fund
5. The agent claims the requested amount will be refunded by the club after he passes trial
6. As soon as payment is made, the agent will stop responding, only to return after some time with another demand for money.
7. If the player is able to raise another round of payment, and the agent realizes the player is desperate and vulnerable, he demands more.
8. The agent stops responding to emails, phone calls and then disappears.