The Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency, is alerting religious leaders around the country about a gift card scam targeting worshipers. The FTC alert, Worshipers targeted by gift card scam, explains that scammers pretend to be a pastor or bishop and then ask worshipers for gift card contributions for a worthy cause. Appeals are often made by email but can be texts or phone calls. The imposter asks people to buy a popular gift card — frequently, iTunes, Google Play, or Amazon — and then asks for the gift card number and PIN on the back of the card. Those numbers let the scammer immediately get the money people loaded onto the card. And once that’s done, the scammer and peoples’ money are gone, usually without a trace. But, as outlined in the alert, there are things people should do if they paid a scammer with a gift card.
Clergy and church leaders, please share this information with your congregation to help prevent future victims within your community.
This article is courtesy of Mr. Andrew Ponder Williams, Office Manager at St. Matthew United Methodist Church of Mesawww.stmatthewmesa.org