Reverend Fathers with a Scam
Now scammers are posing as clergy members. Fake priests, reverend fathers, ministers and reverends are popping out of the church woodwork to send an email to you saying they want to give you a grant, or money left to you by some wealthy dead guy.
Of course, they all write to you from free email accounds at hotmail, yahoo, live.com, aol, etc., not from a church email account. And for someone who reads all day, their spelling and grammar is more like... well, a scammer in central Africa with a 3rd grade education. Which is what they are!
Below are links to sample actual emails of this type of scam, along with how to recognize the scam and report them. These are of a type called "The Advance Fee Fraud (AFF)" email is also known as "419" after the section of the Nigerian penal law that deals with this type of fraud. "
How to Recognize a Priest with a Scam
Let's look at some actual emails people received and see how we can spot that they are scams. In general, notice the awesome amount of misspellings, poor grammar and run-on sentences. Even if they weren't scams, would you go into business with someone who writes like that?
- Reverend Father Sean Carroll, SJ : "Wealthy dead client's name: Sir Edward Richard George Heath"
And please let us know about any suspicious calls or emails you receive. We look for patterns so that we can alert the authorities and victims to new scams, before it is too late!