WCSD Superintendent Warns of Potential Scam
According to the email solicitations, HSBackers claim to be selling advertising to support, promote, and benefit sports programs at Robert McQueen High School in Washoe County. HSBackers have received complaints for similar activities in California and in Arizona. The unauthorized sponsorship and advertising packages range from about $295 up to $3,000.
“HS Backers has no affiliation with either Robert McQueen High School, or the Washoe County School District,” said Superintendent Traci Davis in a released statement. “We believe the community, families, and businesses who support our schools and programs are being targeted, and both they and our school programs suffer. I want to give special thanks to the business owner that brought the initial complaint forward for us to investigate."
In a phone call with the Washoe County School District, Office of General Counsel, HSBackers admitted to the solicitation and admitted to having no relationship with Robert McQueen High School.
“I was shocked that they admitted to the solicitation,” said Chief General Counsel Neil Rombardo. “The troubling part of the solicitation is how convincing it is that HSBackers is working with and helping Washoe schools. Our community needs to know they are not and reports out of other areas indicate they do absolutely nothing with the money collected.”
“We are going to turn up the pressure on these guys, and we presume that they will continue their despicable solicitations on other unsuspecting districts, schools and businesses,” Superintendent Davis said. “If people have paid HSBackers by check or credit card, they may want to consider notifying their financial institution of a possible scam and stop payment.”
The Washoe County School District has notified the Office of the Attorney General, Bureau of Consumer Protection, the Secretary of State’s Office, the Better Business Bureau of Northern Nevada, the Chamber of Commerce, the Nevada Association of School Boards, and the Nevada Association of School Administrators of HS Backers. The District recommends that anyone considering a sponsorship with HSBackers proceed with caution.
“We are always thankful for our community, families, and business support of our schools and their programs, but only through legitimate sponsorships or non-profit organizations that are sanctioned by the District,” said Davis.