By Jack Beresford
Lazio has reportedly fallen victim to a transfer scam that saw the Serie A club unwittingly hand €2million to hackers.
According to Il Tempo (via Football Italia) Lazio received an email demanding the sum as part of the deal that saw Stefan de Vrij join the club from Feyenoord in 2014.
Traditionally, this particular strain of hoax tends to involve a benevolent exiled prince wishing to unlock a secret emergency fund using foreign bank details and offering generous cash rewards in return.
This scam was a little different though, with Il Tempo reporting that the club received a very official looking email that appeared to come directly from the Dutch club.
There was a Feyenoord badge on the email and everything, which was apparently enough to convince the brains over at Lazio to transfer €2million into an unknown account without checking beforehand.
It was only when Aquile representatives contacted Feyenoord that the truth became clear.
Thankfully, the prosecutor handling the case was able to track the payment to a Dutch bank and it’s just as well too – De Vrij is set to leave Lazio this summer after failing to agree a contract extension.
Having to fork out even more money for a player who could be about to join a Serie A rival would only add insult to injury.