A fraudulent e-mail – which has been in circulation for weeks – offers youngsters the chance to participate for a fee or for free depending on “the time of registration”.
“Manchester United Football Academy is offering 400 boys and girls aged 8 to 18 years from over different countries to our hugely popular residential facility in the heart of the English countryside,” the e-mail reads.
The four-year package includes visas, airfare and accommodation. And graduates would qualify for “further opportunities” with the academy. “Raphael Scot” is listed as the contact person.
Despite several calls and e-mails to the provided e-mail address and telephone number, “Scot” could not be reached for comment.
The club have since warned parents not to be duped.
“This e-mail has been unlawfully using the Manchester United Soccer Schools brand name and crest without the consent of this company or its affiliates. Any emails received from ‘@manutdopportunities.uk.mn’, should be disregarded as they contain this false and dishonest information,” the statement reads.
A Cape Town man who asked not to be named said his sister almost signed up her 11-year-old son after receiving the e-mail last month.
“She told me about it and I went onto the website and said it looked legitimate. Luckily she didn’t have time to sign up yet.” he said.
United advised parents to visit its soccer school’s website – www.manutdresidentialcamp.co.uk – should they want their children to attend football camps. Officials can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org