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Youth baseball league’s finances wiped out by credit card theft as community scrambles to raise funds

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

Millions of Americans fall prey to identity fraud each year, and credit card fraud takes on a majority of those cases, both because of its ease and ability to inflict maximum damage in a short period of time.

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The West Mansfield Ball Assocaition, including the athletes pictured here, had its accounts drained by credit card fraud — A Kick in the Crowd

The West Mansfield Ball Assocaition, including the athletes pictured here, had its accounts drained by credit card …

That was the case for us here at Prep Rally in the past six months too, so we can attest to how easily it can happen. In Prep Rally's case, the money that was stolen -- or used to rack up a huge bill at a random Home Depot in another state, as the case may be -- was returned to us within 24 hours. Sadly, for one youth sports group, getting that money back wouldn’t prove quite so easy.

As reported by Akron CBS affiliate WBNS, the West Mansfield Ball Association, the parent organization for a youth baseball league in North Central Ohio, had its accounts completely drained by as yet unidentified agent of fraud. It’s believed that the culprits used a clever yet common identity theft tactic called credit card skimming to uncover necessary identities of the cardholders and respective card numbers.

The result was the loss of hundreds of dollars that had been raised for the West Mansfield Ball Association by parents of the league’s athletes. More pressingly, it resulted in a frozen account that was nearly drained of its resources, meaning that the league couldn’t purchase new uniforms for its members.

No one was more surprised by the sudden change in the league’s fortunes than the parents who raised the funds themselves.

“There was New York and Florida. Just some crazy charges,” Association parent Jen Frazier told WBNS. “Two-hundred dollars at a CVS, just places like that. And that’s when the bank let us know that. They knew right away that it was odd for our bank account.

“I think it’s pretty low,” Frazier said. “And it’s lazy. And it’s not very nice.”

Frazier’s assessment is an understatement. Anyone who would steal hundreds of dollars from a youth baseball league is a sad, sad criminal. They need some help, once they’re caught, of course. Here’s hoping that’s sooner rather than later.

In the meantime, anyone who wishes to help compensate for the Mansfield Ball Association’s loss can contribute via the A Kick in the Crowd fundraising site right here. Give what you can, because those young athletes didn’t deserve the nothing they received.

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