Scrooge has arrived early this year, and he’s out to pull a fast one on central Wisconsin businesses.
A male subject claiming to represent WSAU Radio has been approaching businesses, trying to sell radio advertising promising radio commercials for a specific price if they sign up as a Toys For Tots drop off place.
WSAU’s General Manager Brett Lucht learned about the scam when a client called to ask about the promotion. “We got a call from the manager at Wal Mart in Wisconsin Rapids, Liz Brock, saying that their is a person claiming to be Ron and his manager Greg selling (advertising) packages and claiming to be from 99.9 WSAU where Wisconsin Rapids businesses could be Toys for Tots drop off points, and get 29 ads on the station for a price of $2,100 dollars. Of course, we have nothing like that going on at this point, so this is an obvious scam.”
Toys For Tots works with several businesses and the Marine Corps to collect toys for Christmas. They usually work with media partners to spread the message, but Lucht says no such campaign is in place right now. Lucht is now trying to warn other businesses to be careful. “I’ve contacted the Wisconsin Rapids Heart of Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce already to let them know, and please let us know if anyone else out there is getting calls from these people.”
Lucht says reputable media outlets including WSAU have sales associates that work to build relationships with their business clients, so if you suddenly have someone else selling advertising or if the deal sounds suspicious, businesses should ask questions and be cautious. “I would ask them immediately for a follow-up phone number, a billing address of any kind, a business card. Liz (Brock) has told us that when they inquired for a follow-up phone call, they hung up on them. If they don’t have one of our business cards or our phone number, or some way to verify their claims, give us a call and we’ll help them however we can.”
Several law enforcement agencies and business organizations have been notified about the scam. We do not know if any businesses have fallen victim to the hoax.
Business leaders that have been approached with a similar deal from someone claiming to represent WSAU radio are encouraged to contact Brett Lucht and their local law enforcement agency.
Brett Lucht, General Manager can be reached at (715) 842-1672 ext. 421
Larry Lee, WSAU