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KPD: fake coach selling bad gift cards in Knoxville

8:35 PM, Dec 13, 2012   |    comments
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The Knoxville Police Department said a man is dressing up like a coach and selling unusable gift cards for his nonexistent team.

At least six victims have contacted police about the scam.

"There's so many programs out there that deserve people giving them a chance and this man is going to make people think twice about that," said Nikki Bargerstock who was given a $50 gas gift card from a family member.  Bargerstock said the family member paid $40 for the gift card from a man claiming he was a football coach at a Knoxville high school.

KPD said the fake coach has been visiting local businesses.

The suspect offers discounts on different types of gift cards.

Victims buy the item and figure out it's never been activated when they try to use it.

Police said the suspect is in his 50's, has graying hair, 5'9 and usually wearing coach attire.

"He's coming into these businesses and tells them he represents a school, or little league team or some type of sports agency and he's selling gift cards at a reduced value on the card.  He says the money goes to help repair fields or buy uniforms or something to that nature," said KPD spokesperson Darrell DeBusk.

If you buy a gift card from a Knox County School or booster club, the school system suggests asking for a letter of approval or employee ID.

If you have fallen victim to the fake coach, you're asked to contact KPD by calling (865) 215-7000.

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