34 Raceway: Beware of Fake Solicitations Looking for Sponsors

34 Raceway: Beware of Fake Solicitations Looking for Sponsors

If you’re looking to support 34 Raceway, or any track for the matter, be sure you’re talking to the right person. The West Burlington, Iowa, dirt track warned its Facebook followers that only sponsorship proposals from its promoters — Brad Stevens and Jessi Mynatt — were legitimate.

“A couple of friends who own businesses alerted us to the emails, wanting to know if they were legitimate,” Stevens said. “There was obviously something in the way the emails were written or addressed that got the recipients to pick up the phone and call us to check on their authenticity.”

Stevens and Mynatt take a hand-on approach to promoting 34 Raceway, and that includes finding sponsors.

“One thing we have prided ourselves on in the past 7 years is the connections and personal relationships we have made with our many, many supporters,” said 34 Raceway on Facebook. “This means we will NEVER have someone else solicit sponsorships or marketing attempts on our behalf.”

This may be the first kind of scam to hit racetracks, according to Bill Martin, IMCA Director of Media & Public Relations.

“We’ve all been warned about scams involving senior citizens, taxes, and medical bills,” Martin said. “We’ve all gotten these types of emails and calls on our cell phones.”

Martin advises promoters to be vigilant.

“Racetracks are businesses, and of course, people will try to make illicit money from businesses anywhere and anyway they can,” said Martin. “My advice to promoters is to be on guard.”

Likewise, those connected to racetracks — fans, racers, sponsors — should also be alert. While a phishing scam targeting a racetrack may be new, it’s not a new type of illicit activity.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) offered advice to spot this kind of scam known as phishing. Signs that an email may be not what it seems can be easily spotted. The recipient should pause to think about the email in question.

The message may appear to be from a company you know and use the same logo. This, however, does not clearly indicate the origin of the message.

Study the return email address. Most phishing emails come from a public domain, not a corporate domain. Most legitimate companies have their own email domain.

Look for telltale signs like a generic greeting and poorly written content.

Check for misspelled words — especially in the domain name.

Beware of attachments. Don’t click on them — they may be infected with malware.

Be wary of emails that invite you to click to update your payment details.

Lastly, beware of emails stressing the urgency to respond. Take the time to study and think about the email — you may discover it is an attempt at phishing.

You can report phishing emails and texts to the Anti-Phishing Working Group at [email protected].

Also, you should notify the FTC of phishing emails at reportfraud.ftc.gov.

Outside Groove Note of Transparency: Corrected the attribution to a quote involving “7 years” (2024-03-21).