Scammers target Charlotte County businesses

 PUNTA GORDA, Fla., - A business owner in North Carolina is wanting to clear his name of a nationwide scam that's popping up in Punta Gorda this week.

Police say a man, claiming to be a marketing representative for Charlotte High School's Athletic Department is calling local businesses and scamming them out of hundreds of dollars. But the school says they're not doing business with him.

"Someone had gotten a call from this guy and they felt like this doesn't sound right so they called Brian Nolan, the athletic director and Brian goes no, we're not working with them," said Michael Riley, a spokesperson with the Charlottte County School District.

Punta Gorda Police Department pushed out an alert to residents on their Facebook page warning of the scam. They say the man is going by the name Robert Brooksire from TD Sports.

Police say several business may have been targeted, including Cayo Costa Dental in Punta Gorda. The business scammed out of more than $800 worth of banners, t-shirts and other goods that were supposed to benefit the school.

"Our business community especially, they support our schools. So when someone comes out with something, their first thought will be yeah, we want to help," Riley said.

"I believe this person hasn't just tried this once. Once they try it, if they get somebody to bite on it, they'll tend to get more involved in it and go after more people," said Corporal Tony Pribble, a spokesperson with the Punta Gorda Police Department.

When Four In Your Corner reached out to TD Sports. The owner said they have nothing to do with the scam, but it isn't the first time he's received calls about someone using his name to scam people. He says he's received calls from places like Illinois, Tennessee and New York with people citing a similar scam.

"I just hope they're able to catch this guy and put an end to all of this because it does bother me every time I get a phone call from a school or something like that saying he's targeted people in their area," said Troy Smith, owner of TD Sports, a screenprinting and embroidery business based in Rich Square, North Carolina.

If you get a call similar to this, you are urged to report it to your local law enforcement agency.
 

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