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Scammers posing as members of the clergy to take advantage of parishioners

Posted at 10:54 PM, Sep 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-03 23:54:12-04

KINGSVILLE, Texas — Officials with the St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church in Kingsville say scammers are posing as members of the clergy and asking for gift cards.

The church is now taking these disturbing messages to social media so others can stay vigilant.

The St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church says these messages are completely false and people need to be careful.

The church says well-known members have received messages asking people to buy gift cards and that it is for patients who are battling cancer.

These scammers pose as a member of the clergy to trick people.

Our Action 10 news team spoke to Regional Director of the Better Business Bureau Jason Meza and he says scammers are getting incredibly creative to manipulate people.

“What we want to remind folks, consumers to do is to always do your research never act under pressure it is tempting to want to give immediately without an investigation but you should take an extra 5 minutes to double-check that the call is legit that the charity is legit and that you have the right number, and that the church is actually doing some type out outreach or fundraiser if not, it’s most likely a scam,” says Meza.

The Diocese of Corpus Christi sent us a statement saying "This in no way has been promoted or supported by the St. Martin Catholic Church or any of its staff.”

The Better Business Bureau says individuals must take active steps if they feel uncomfortable.

The St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church says they have their attorneys looking into this scammer situation.