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An active church member was targeted by scammers posing as a clergy member

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Posted at 11:24 PM, Sep 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-05 00:25:13-04

ORANGE GROVE, Texas — A victim of a scam shares her story.

Our Action 10 news team have previously reported that area catholic churches have been and continue to be targeted by scammers. Scammers pose as clergy and request money or other items.

A church parishioner says she's been a victim of such a scam. Kathleen Garza says she is very active in her church, so receiving a message from her pastor was normal.

“I'm going to be there for mass tomorrow anyway let me call and check with him. He had no idea of what I was talking about,” says Kathleen Garza.

Garza says it happened not too long after local catholic churches sent a warning on social media. Garza got a text with her name persisting she do a favor for the priest at St. John of the Cross Catholic Church in Orange Grove. It was even signed by Father Patrick Donohoe.

Kathleen responded to the text asking what would she need to do. The scammer was asking for gift cards, and it will be for a patient battling cancer. Garza was then told to purchase three Steam gift cards, each for $100.

Garza did not hesitate to fulfill the request. After she bought them, she was told to scratch off the back of the card and send a picture of the numbers listed via text.

And that's when her instincts kicked in. She tells Action 10 News she was in disbelief that a scammer contacted her posing as a member of the clergy.

Garza did not send the scammers the numbers on the back and ignored prior messages.

“If your pastor calls you, double-check don't take a text at its word,” Garza warns.

She also adds that she is working with Walmart to get her money back. Furthermore, Garza advises that others should be careful because you never know who is on the other side.