A FOOTBAL club has been left reeling after scammers stole £28,000.
Laurel Park FC has been forced to suspend all spending after attempts only managing to recover £8.90.
The Lower Earley club runs 27 teams for children with teams ranging from under sevens to under 18s.
The club transferred £7,000 to the scammer on four occasions after receiving a bogus email which looked like it was sent from senior club officials.
Andy Dykes, the club's secretary, said: " I asked the bank for the information on the scammers and they said they couldn't because of data protection.
"They caught out our treasurer but since then I've heard of this happening to judges and lawyers.
"We are a grass roots club that we just built up.
"We were planning on buying some new goals and bits of kit when Laurel Park has finished transferring from the borough to the town council.
"Obviously we lost a lot of money but there have been some really supportive messages and that's great.
"We have a meeting on Tuesday to discuss what we can do."
The club holds an open day on July 1 and is now hoping to raise funds towards the next season.
The club, based at Marefiled, will keep coaching football to boys and girls but is having to 'find ways to fund future development'.
A statement posted on the club's facebook page reads: As we have said so far, the club will go on, we have one aim and that is to enable local children to enjoy playing football in a safe environment and nothing will stop us doing that.
"We just now have to find ways to fund the future development of the club to take it in the direction that we believe the players deserve.
"There will almost certainly be more fallout from this over the coming weeks and hopefully some of the funds may be recovered.
"The one thing we are hopeful of about this whole exercise is that other people can use it as a warning.
"These scams are simple yet sophisticated and easy for anyone to get duped into.
"If you suspect anything is even slightly fishy then it almost certainly is. Make a phone call to check, click on the email address in the header to make sure it really is from the person they say they are, check and double check before handing over money or details."