Manchester United 'scouting scam' revealed

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Manchester United have issued a statement warning parents in South Africa about a scam calling on children to join its soccer school.

A fraudulent e-mail, which is believed to have been in circulation for a number of weeks, offers youngsters the chance to register and train - for a hefty fee - in affiliation with the esteemed Premier League football club.

The four-year package includes visas, airfare and accommodation, and graduates would qualify for "further opportunities" with the Red Devils' academy.

"Manchester United Football Academy is offering 400 boys and girls aged 8-18 years from over different countries [sic] to [come to] our hugely popular residential facility in the heart of the English countryside," the e-mail reads.

Sir Alex Ferguson is famous four bringing through a number of talented young players and developing them into leading Old Trafford stars during his time at the helm.

The British club, which has a massive fan base in South Africa, has issued a warning to parents not to be duped by the scam.

"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," read the statement. "Any e-mails received from '', should be disregarded as they contain this false and dishonest information.

"A serious investigation has been launched into uncovering the source of this e-mail and further action will be taken to stop the perpetrators from spreading detrimental messages.

"We apologise for any confusion this message may have caused."

Manchester United have not indicated how many parents had been taken in by the scam, and Western Cape police said they were not aware of it.

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