On March 6, 2019, Cape Coral Police responded to a call for service in reference to a potential scam complaint at St. Andrews Catholic Church, 2628 Del Prado Blvd.
The complainant received a text message from who she believed was the pastor at her church requesting Google gift cards. The text message advised it was pastor and he needed $500 in Google gift cards so he could help a person who had been diagnosed with cancer. The text also said that the pastor could not talk right now because he was with the friend who had cancer.
The complainant did send the numbers of the five gift cards in a text. After the suspect received the gift card PINs, the suspect asked for another $1,000. The complainant became suspicious and contacted her church. It was found that the pastor did NOT request any gift cards from her.
Other members of the church have received the same message from the same number. St. Andrews was not the only church who had parishioners affected by this scam.
We understand that you want to help those in need, but you need to be aware that there are those that will use your generosity against you.
Do NOT send gift car information through a text message, email, or over the telephone.
Contact your church or other business that is requesting money to verify its legitimacy but don’t use the number from the text or email you received.
Take your time to make sure you aren’t going to be a victim of a scam and when in doubt call your local Police Department.
This case is under investigation and has been assigned to the Financial Crime Unit.