Thai police warn Liverpool fans not to fall for Alonso scam

Thai police warn Liverpool fans not to fall for Alonso scam

BANGKOK: Thai police have warned Liverpool fans not to fall for online scammers impersonating Bayer Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso, hotly tipped to replace Jurgen Klopp at Anfield in the summer.

The Central Investigation Bureau told supporters to watch out for a viral message purporting to show the Spaniard’s Instagram account asking for donations of 300 baht (US$8.50) to help pay his airfare.

“I am Xabi Alonso, I will be in charge of Liverpool next season, but I am short of money for my flights to Liverpool,” said the message, written in Thai.

The former Liverpool and Real Madrid midfielder is among the favourites to take over from Klopp, who shocked fans on Friday (Jan 26) by announcing he would step down at the end of the season.

“Liverpool fans, calm down. Xabi is not yet the manager, but there is already a scammer,” said the police statement posted on Facebook on Sunday.

The police said the message – doctored to look like it came from Alonso’s official Instagram account – was “a scammer pretending to be Xabi”.

The Premier League is enormously popular in Thailand and Liverpool is among the best-supported teams, with red shirts and club crests adorning everything from people to taxis and shops.